ABVP worker: Rohith Vemula was not a person to commit suicide over a scuffle

Feb 06, 2016, 10:17 IST | Pallavi Smart

Susheel Kumar – the ABVP member, who has been charged with abetting Rohith Vemula's suicide; was in Mumbai yesterday to clear the allegations against him

While the entire nation continues to debate on the issue of caste-discrimination on college campuses after the suicide of Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula, the Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) has now come forward to counter the several allegations made against it in Vemula's suicide case.

Susheel Kumar, head of ABVP's Hyderabad unit, was in the city yesterday, to give his view on the allegations surrounding him. Kumar has been charged with abetting Vemula's suicide. "Rohith Vemula, a Dalit scholar from the Hyderabad Central University (HCU), was not a person who would commit suicide for small reasons, such as a scuffle with another students' organisation," Kumar said while addressing a press conference yesterday.

"Instead of making it a Dalit issue, a fair judicial probe should be conducted in his death. If I am found guilty, I am ready to face the consequences," he said, adding, "It is not at all a 'Dalit vs Non-Dalit' issue. The ASA (Ambedkar Students Association) members were objecting the capital punishment given to Yakub Memon. They were holding placards, which had messages such as – 'Tum kitne Yakub maroge, har ghar se ek Yakub niklega' (How many Yakubs will you kill, each house will produce one Yakub.) 'Yakub tere khoon se inquilab aayega' (Yakub your blood will bring about a revolution)."

Susheel Kumar, head of the Hyderabad unit of the ABVP. Pic/Bipin Kokate
Susheel Kumar, head of the Hyderabad unit of the ABVP. Pic/Bipin Kokate

'I was assaulted'
"A message was put on my social media platform against their activity. It was the ASA members, who assaulted me in the middle of the night, forcing me to delete that post. There is a record of it since the university's security officials as well as police were informed about the incident," Kumar added.

Kumar was questioned on why he was admitted to a private hospital for an appendicitis surgery the night of the assault. He said, "Why would it happen on the same night if it was just another appendicitis surgery? My medical report clearly states that the issue got serious with the injuries."

Kumar claimed his mother had approached the Telangana High Court requesting a probe in the assault. Showing CCTV footage of the Vice-Chancellor's (VC) cabin, from the time his mother went to meet the VC, Kumar said, "She witnessed ASA's violent behaviour inside the VC's cabin, where they were shouting and trying to pick up the computer from the desk in anger. What else was she supposed to do when she could see that even the varsity authorities are not able to take appropriate action?" ABVP also presented a few other documents, photographs and videos.

He added, "Similarly, I approached the government with my complaints. Now, Bandaru Dattatreya happens to be from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). But our intention was nothing except approaching the government for their intervention. It was the probe ordered by the HC that led to their suspension from the hostel."

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