The Congress on Thursday accused Union minister Smriti Irani of lying in the Dalit student’s suicide case as it picked holes in the Centre’s defence in an incident which has turned into a political slugfest between the opposition and the government.
“Kal Smriti Irani ji ne ek jhoot dabaane ke liye teen teen jhoot bole (Yesterday, Smriti Irani said three lies to hide one),” Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said, a day after the Union HRD minister accused the opposition of making a “malicious attempt” to project the issue as a caste battle.
The Congress has demanded the sacking of Irani and Union labour minister Bandaru Dattatreya for allegedly putting pressure on the university to suspend five Dalit students including Rohith Vemula who committed suicide on Sunday.
Surjewala added that Irani allegedly “justified the unfairness meted out to Rohith Vemula and the other Dalit students”.
He also asked Irani whether she agreed with her ministerial colleague Ram Vilas Paswan’s call for an inquiry into scholar’s death. The HRD ministry had sent a fact-finding team to Hyderabad but resisted demands for a probe.
Thrown out of their hostel and facing “social boycott” on the campus allegedly after the ministry’s letters, the five students were on protest at a makeshift tent in the campus for 15 days. Rohith later committed suicide on January 17.