Politics happened in Dalit student’s death: Punia

Hyderabad: Alleging that “politics” had taken place in the alleged suicide of a Dalit student in the central university here, National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) chairman P L Punia today said the Commission would take up the issue strongly.

Rohit Vemula, a Dalit PhD scholar, was found hanging at the Central University’s hostel room in the campus yesterday triggering protests from fellow students this morning. The deceased was among the five research scholars, who were suspended by the university in August last year and also one of the accused in the case of assault on a student leader.

Recalling the sequence of events in HCU with regard to the alleged suicide, Punia said, “When action was against them (students), Vice Chancellor took back the action also. A statement comes later. Politics happened in between.”

“Dattatreyaji, Labour Minister, he is a senior leader. He writes a letter. That letter comes here. It starts moving in a circle. A total U-turn is taken. All this incident happened…,” he told reporters here.

Speaking after visiting the university, he said he would seek a report from the police, administration and the university.

“The NCSC would take up the issue strongly,” Punia said.

Noting that the names of Union Minister Bandaru Dattatreya and the university VC have been mentioned in the FIR in connection with the incident, he said there should be a fair investigation into it.

Rohit’s fellow students have demanded immediate removal of Dattatreya from the Union Cabinet alleging that he was instrumental in suspension of the students from the university. .