New Delhi: Going on the offensive on the dalit student's suicide case in Hyderabad, Congress on Tuesday demanded that HRD Minister Smriti Irani should be removed along with Union Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya, against whom a FIR has been lodged.
Smriti Irani. Pic/PTI
Party spokesperson Kumari Selja told reporters in New Delhi that both Irani and Dattatreya should resign or else Prime Minister Narendra Modi should take action against the two by sacking them. She said that the HRD Minister has 'misguided' the whole country as she had written a number of letters on the issue and that Dattatreya was 'against dalit students in order to promote ABVP'.
"There is much more than what meets the eye. The Prime Minister must speak out on the matter and take action against the ministers," she said as Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi left Delhi to visit Hyderabad Central University (HCU) to meet the students after a dalit scholar allegedly committed suicide sparking massive protests. "The Prime Minister should break his silence. This is not the first time that BJP ministers have worked against the interest of the dalits. There are several others who have spoken ill of the dalits. And hence, the entire BJP, the Prime Minister are in the docks," Selja said.
The body of the dalit research scholar was found hanging in the varsity's hostel room, which sparked massive protests. Dattatreya and the university Vice Chancellor were yesterday named in the FIR over the alleged suicide of the student.
The issue took a political turn with allegations that the extreme action was a result of discrimination against dalit students at the behest of Dattatreya, who had written a letter to Irani, seeking action against their 'anti-national acts'.
The deceased student, Rohit Vemula, was among the five research scholars who were suspended by the university in August last year and also one of the accused in a case of assault on a student leader. They were also kept out of the hostel.