Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav on Sunday slammed Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj for her remark on Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula after she reportedly said that the scholar was not a member of the Dalit community.
“How does it matter whether he was a Dalit or just a Backward Class boy. It should not be justification for his death,” said Yadav. Even if he was not a Dalit, and was just a backward class boy; how could she justify his death on this basis, asked Yadav. Claiming that Swaraj is from the RSS, Lalu said that one should be ashamed of justifying that a person who has been killed was Dalit or was from backward class.
External Affairs Minister Swaraj had on Saturday said that 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.
On Rohith’s birth anniversary on Saturday, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi sat on fast along with the protesting students at the Hyderabad Central University.
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, a PhD student at the university, committed suicide by hanging himself in his room. He 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.