Rohit Vemula, a research scholar, of Hyderabad Central University (HCU), committed suicide after he along with four others were suspended for allegedly assaulting a student leader.
Students have stepped up protests against the Union Minister Bandaru Dattatreya and the Vice-Chancellor over the suicide of the Dalit PhD scholar Vemula Rohith in the Central University at Hyderabad, early January. The Union Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya and Hyderabad University Vice Chancellor are named in an FIR over the alleged suicide of the student, triggering massive protests and demands for their removal from their posts. The agitating students demanded immediate removal of Dattareya from the Union Cabinet. “Dattatreya should be removed from the Cabinet. Ramachandra Rao should be removed from the MLC post. Vice Chancellor should be sacked,” said D Prashant, one of the five suspended students.
Even the Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi recently sat on one day protest fast along with Rohith's family and friends at the university campus.
As per the ruling party BJP, the Congress party picked up such a sensitive issue to cause havoc and disruption to the Modi government’s development program.
Escalating the entire situation and turning it into an ugly battle, BJP lashed out at Rahul Gandhi saying, “He offered no condolences over those suicides but was giving the death of Rohith Vemula an angle by underlining his Dalit identity”. Senior BJP leaders have accused Rahul of doing 'Tamasha' politics over the suicide of research scholar.
The senior Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu blamed Congress for doing politics over the suicide of research scholar Rohith Vemula by segregating students on caste lines and also claimed that the opposition party Congress never worried about Dalits during the course of its rule.
Amidst the controversy came an important statement - “Hyderabad University research scholar Rohith Vemula, who committed suicide earlier this month, was not a Dalit”, said External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. "The facts have come out in the case and as per as my knowledge, that student (Rohith) was not a Dalit," she recently said adding that the controversy over his caste was "baseless".
Whatever the case may be there is need to take preventive, corrective and appropriate actions to ensure that national universities get rid of caste and communal politics and also of anti-social elements.