4 scholars’ suspension lifted as outrage grows
HYDERABAD UNIV SUICIDE 10 professors quit admin posts, slam HRD minister
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.
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Students protest at the Hyderabad University campus, where Rohith Vemula committed suicide, on Thursday.