VC, union ministers at fault: Rahul Gandhi

Our Bureau Hyderabad | Updated on January 19, 2018 Published on January 19, 2016

Congress VP Rahul Gandhi interacts with Rohith Vemula’s mother andsuspended students at the University of Hyderabad campus NAGARA GOPAL

Seeks compensation for bereaved family, autonomy for educational institutions

The alleged suicide of Dalit PhD Scholar Rohith Vemula in the University of Hyderabad (UoH) has snowballed into a national political blame game, with Congress leader Rahul Gandhi wading into the fray on Tuesday.

Rahul who made a quick visit to the university campus on Tuesday, demanded “strict” punishment for Vice Chancellor P Appa Rao, Union Minister of State for Labour Bandaru Dattatreya and others “responsible” for Rohith’s suicide.

The university campus remained tense with a heavy police presence while student protestors and leaders kept up pressure on the administration.

The two-member fact finding panel sent by the Union HRD ministry probed the circumstances leading to the expulsion of students and Rohith’s suicide by interacting with students, teaching and non-teaching staff. It is expected to submit its report soon.

Speaking after interacting with Rohith’s parents and students on the campus, the Congress vice president said: “I came here not as a politician… There is no question of politicisation. But if some youngsters want to express what they feel, the institution should allow it. The VC has no right to remain in office.”

Rohit a PhD Scholar in the Centre for Knowledge, Innovation & Culture Studies, allegedly hung himself in a room in the new research scholars’ hostel on Sunday.

Without naming anyone, Gandhi said action should be taken against the “minister in Delhi” and sought a new law to ensure autonomy of universities and other institutions.

The Congress, Left, Telangana Rashtra Samithi and other parties demanded action against the VC and the minister.

VC appeals for normalcy

Meanwhile, with activity in the university coming to a standstill in the wake of the suicide, Vice Chancellor Apparao on Tuesday appealed to the university community to allow regular academic work, including classes.

The university also said disciplinary action was taken against the five students on the basis of an order from the High Court in response to a plea filed by the mother a student leader, Susheel Kumar, allegedly beaten by a group of students.

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Published on January 19, 2016
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