4 schol­ars’ sus­pen­sion lifted as out­rage grows

HYDERABAD UNIV SUI­CIDE 10 pro­fes­sors quit ad­min posts, slam HRD min­is­ter

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - HT Cor­re­spon­dents let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com

Op­po­si­tion par­ties and ac­tivists hit out on Thurs­day at Union min­is­ter Sm­riti Irani for al­legedly dis­tort­ing facts in the case of a Dalit scholar’s sui­cide even as the Univer­sity of Hyderabad re­voked a sus­pen­sion or­der against four of his fel­low stu­dents amid swirling na­tion­wide out­rage.

While Delhi chief min­is­ter Arvind Ke­jri­wal de­manded the hu­man re­source de­vel­op­ment min­is­ter’s res­ig­na­tion and crit­i­cised her for “play­ing caste pol­i­tics” over the death of 26-year-old Ro­hith Vem­ula, about a dozen pro­fes­sors at the univer­sity quit their ad­min­is­tra­tive posts, ac­cus­ing Irani of mak­ing “fab­ri­cated state­ments”.

Vem­ula was among five stu­dents sus­pended by the in­sti­tute fol­low­ing al­le­ga­tions of as­sault on a leader of the Akhil Bharatiya Vid­yarthi Par­ishad (ABVP), an RSS-af­fil­i­ated stu­dents’ body.

“Sm­riti Irani lied yes­ter­day and tried to play dirty caste pol­i­tics and tried to play with the emo­tions of the stu­dents,” Ke­jri­wal told pro­test­ers at the univer­sity, re­fer­ring to Irani’s re­marks on Wed­nes­day that there was a “ma­li­cious at­tempt” to pro­ject the is­sue as a caste bat­tle. “We de­mand she seek an apol­ogy from the en­tire coun­try for that. We ap­peal to the Prime Min­is­ter to re­move Sm­riti Irani and Dat­ta­treya from his Cab­i­net.”

The is­sue has snow­balled into

a mas­sive political row with crit­ics al­leg­ing that the HRD min­istry pushed for the Dalit stu­dents to be pun­ished by send­ing five re­minders to the univer­sity’s vice-chan­cel­lor af­ter labour min­is­ter Ban­daru Dat­ta­treya com­plained to Irani’s depart­ment.

CON­TIN­UED ON P15

RE­LATED RE­PORTS, P12

PTI PHOTO

Stu­dents protest at the Hyderabad Univer­sity cam­pus, where Ro­hith Vem­ula com­mit­ted sui­cide, on Thurs­day.

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