Rohith Vemula was not a Dalit, issue baseless: Sushma Swaraj

Rohith belonged to a community which is a backward caste but not Dalit, say sources.

New Delhi: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said that Rohith Vemula, who committed suicide in the Hyderabad Central University, was not a Dalit.

"The facts have come out in the case and as per as my complete knowledge, that student (Rohith) was not a Dalit. By calling him a Dalit student, this whole case has been raised a communal incident by some people," Swaraj said.

Read: HCU suicide: BJP tears into Rahul on UoH

According to reports, Rohith belonged to a community which is a backward caste but not Dalit.

The body of Rohith was found hanging in the varsity's hostel room, which sparked massive protests across the country.

On Rohith's birthday anniversary on Saturday, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi sat on fast along with the protesting students at the Hyderabad Central University.

Read: HCU suicide: Rahul equates Mahatma Gandhi and Rohith Vemula

Gandhi said, "When you let what has happened to Rohith happen in the country, it will happen to you one day, no matter who you are. You will one day find that the same people, who crushed Rohith, will be blocking your path to freedom, to progress...Rohith was also an Indian youngster who was searching for truth. Nobody has right to take away the right to 'search for the truth', this is exactly what happened with Gandhi ji and Rohith as well,"

Rohith was among the six research scholars, suspended by the Hyderabad Central University (HCU) in August last year in connection with an alleged attack on an ABVP leader.

Terming the expulsion from the University hostel as a “small incident”, BJP leader Kailash Vijayvargiya said he doubts whether this alone led to suicide by the “courageous youth”.

“The suicide of Vemula is unfortunate. He was a courageous youth who had a zeal to swim against the tide. Though a probe is on in his death, I don’t believe he committed suicide just because of a small incident of his expulsion from the hostel,” the BJP general secretary said on Saturday.

“I don’t think he took the extreme step because he was perturbed over his expulsion,” he told reporters here.

“I think those people who are responsible for his suicide are the ones who are agitating to defame Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government. Once the probe is complete, these people would get exposed,” Vijayvargiya maintained.

Asked about Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi taking part in the agitation over Rohith’s death, Vijayvargiya said, “Politics should not be done on the issue. Our political rivals are unable to digest that under Modi’s leadership, the country’s stature is rising in the world and therefore they are indulging in such acts.”

( Source : Deccan Chronicle with agency inputs )
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