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