ABVP leader Nandanam Susheel Kumar, who has been accused of abetting suicide of Rohith Vemula, on Friday said that the Dalit scholar could have ended his life over personal issues as his suicide note did not mention a specific reason for the extreme step.
Susheel Kumar also said that he was ready to face punishment if found guilty.
“Rohith was not a weak person, who could have lost his heart at the suspension (by the Hyderabad Central University). There could have been some personal and particular reasons behind his suicide,” Susheel Kumar told reporters in a press conference in Mumbai.
“Let there be a free and fair inquiry...maybe judicial or other. If I am found guilty, then I am ready to face punishment,” he said. “But I want to ask why there has been so much of over-reaction to this particular suicide case only. HCU witnessed over 12 suicides in the last seven to eight years. Why are people being so selective about this particular case alone,” Kumar said. “I did not have any personal issues with Rohith, there were only ideological differences,” Kumar said in response to a query.
“Rohith and other members assaulted me and I was grievously injured, following which I landed in a hospital and also underwent an appendicitis surgery,” he claimed.
Rohith, whose body was found hanging in a hostel room on January 17, was among the five research scholars, who were suspended by the HCU in August last year and also one of the accused in the case of alleged assault on Susheel Kumar.
“Rohith’s suicide note has nowhere mentioned that he was committing suicide for any particular reason...action should be initiated against the Ambedkar Students’ Association (ASA) and Students Federation of India (SFI) leaders as certain lines of the suicide note implicate them,” he alleged.
Lashing out at Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury over their visit to the HCU campus in the wake of suicide, Kumar accused them of fueling Dalit vs non-Dalit atmosphere.
“They are visiting campus with an attempt to politicise an unfortunate death in university in the name of consoling the bereaved family. But why are they criticising only for the sake of it? Why are they ignoring the core issues?” he asked.
Replying to a query, Kumar said, “(Union minister) Bandaru Dattatreya might have written a letter to university, but AIMIM leaders had also come on the campus and ignited the issue.” He said political parties should have limited interference in the day-to-day affairs of academic institutions.