Row af­ter Rahul re­joins Dalit sui­cide protest

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - NEWS - HT Correspondent let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com

Pol­i­tics over the sui­cide of Dalit scholar Ro­hith Vem­ula reignited on Satur­day as Congress vice-pres­i­dent Rahul Gandhi sat on a day-long hunger strike and said the govern­ment was push­ing its ide­ol­ogy on the youth, while the BJP ac­cused him of “politi­cis­ing” the is­sue.

The protest was to mark the 27th birth­day of Vem­ula, who com­mit­ted sui­cide on 17 Jan­uary cre­at­ing a political storm across In­dia with Op­po­si­tion party lead­ers mak­ing a bee­line for the Univer­sity of Hyderabad. In­ci­den­tally, it was also the death an­niver­sary of Mahatma Gandhi.

“A young life full of dreams and as­pi­ra­tions was cut short,” Gandhi said in a tweet be­fore he started the day- long fast in a show of sol­i­dar­ity with stu­dents who are on the warpath for nearly a fort­night.

Rahul Gandhi, who par­tic­i­pated in a can­dle­light vigil on Fri­day night, on Satur­day said Vem­ula like Gandhi had been pre­vented from speak­ing his mind. “They are sim­i­lar in their agony,” he told the gath­ered stu­dents at the protest site. “We owe it to him [Ro­hith], to [the] mem­ory of Gand­hiji, to ev­ery sin­gle In­dian stu­dent who dreams of an In­dia free from prej­u­dice and in­jus­tice,” he said in an­other tweet.

T he univer­sity c am­pus has turned into the epi­cen­tre of na­tion­wide protests af­ter re­search scholar Ro­hith Vem­ula com­mit­ted sui­cide ear­lier this month fol­low­ing his sus­pen­sion along with four other stu­dents for al­leged as­sault on a leader of the right-wing ABVP.

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PTI PHOTO

Congress vice-pres­i­dent Rahul Gandhi, along with stu­dents, dur­ing a protest at the Hyderabad univer­sity on Satur­day.

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