Case filed against Union Minister after student’s suicide

THESEbandaruThe Hyderabad police have filed a case of abetment to suicide against Union Minister B Dattatreya, and vice-chancellor of the University of Hyderabad, P Appa Rao, after Rohith Vemula, 26, a Dalit research scholar committed suicide in his hostel room.

Rohith was one of five Dalit scholars expelled by the Hyderabad Varsity last December after a clash with a rival student group. Rohith hung himself from the ceiling fan.

Rohith, of Guntur, Andhra Pradesh, was a member of the Ambedkar Students Association (ASA) and was doing his PhD in science technology and society studies. He was among five Dalit students living in a tent pitched on the campus for the last few days as a mark of protest against the university authorities decision that led to his being expelled following a clash with a rival student group.

The Union Minister had described the members of ASA as casteist, extremist and anti-national. The expelled students of the Ambedkar Students Union were denied access to campus facilities, except their classrooms and workshops. Since then the group were protesting the ‘undemocratic social boycott’ and were sleeping in a makeshift tent on the campus.

Dalit organisations across the state, student groups, and political parties are demanding stringent action against the authorities responsible for the tragedy.