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Rahul Gandhi blames university VC, union minister for Dalit student's death

Rahul Gandhi blames university VC, union minister for Dalit students death

Hyderabad: Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday visited the University of Hyderabad that has been witnessing protests over the suicide of Dalit PhD student Rohith Vemula.

While talking to the students, the Congress leader said that the university VC and a union minister created the situation that made Rohith Vemula commit suicide.

"This youngster came (here) to improve this country, who came to learn, to express himself... but he was put in so much pain, that he had no other option but to kill himself," Mr Gandhi declared.

"He has committed suicide, but the condition for his suicide was created by the Vice Chancellor, the minister in Delhi, and the institution," he alleged, without naming Smriti Irani, whom he defeated in 2014 in the parliamentary election from Amethi in Uttar Pradesh. Irani is the Education Minister.

Dismissing criticism of politicising the incident, the Congress leader said, "There is no question of politicising student's death,” adding that “there should not be any discrimination in an institution on the basis of caste, creed and religion."

Rahul landed at Begumpet airport in the city by a special aircraft and reached the university by road.

Rohith Vemula, a P.hD. student, committed suicide by hanging himself in a hostel room on Sunday, triggering massive protests by students who alleged that he took the extreme step because of discrimination and social boycott.

Rohith and four other students were subjected to boycott by the authorities of the university, the students said.

The five students of Amebdkar Students Association (ASA) were suspended and later expelled from hostel following a clash with leaders of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP).

ASA alleged that the action was taken against them after Union Minister for Labour Bandaru Dattatreya wrote a letter to Union minister for Human Resources Development Smriti Irani.

The police on Monday booked a case against Dattatreya, Vice Chancellor Appa Rao and two BJP leaders for abetment of suicide and violation of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (prevention of atrocities) Act.

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