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Dalit student suicide: Minister appeals to students to withdraw protest


Hyderabad : Union Minister of State for HRD Upendra Kushwaha today appealed to the agitating students of Hyderabad Central University to withdraw their protest following the alleged suicide of a Dalit research scholar and assured them that they will get justice.

“From our ministry judicial commission has been set up. We want to tell all students…keep faith…you will get justice. Now there is no need for continuing the agitation,” he told reporters on the sidelines of an event here.
He said that based on the report of the judicial commission set up to look into the matter, the HRD ministry will take necessary steps.

“From the ministry, a two-member fact-finding committee looked into the matter and gave its report. There were some shortcomings/loopholes as per the report. Based on the report, a judicial commission was set up for further inquiry. The commission will do its work and give report in three months. Based on it, the ministry will take necessary steps,” he said.

Asked about the demands of the agitating students for removal of the university’s Vice Chancellor and withdrawal of case against them (four students), Kushwaha said, “University will look into that. There is no role of the ministry.”

Kushwaha was here to attend the inaugural ceremony of Navodaya National Integration Meet.

The ministry yesterday decided to set up a judicial commission to look into the matter.

When contacted for their response to the government deciding to appoint a judicial commission and the university announcing compensation, Vemula’s brother Raju said they will discuss the matter with the agitating students.

Rohith’s mother would come to the university today and talk to the agitating students, he said.

Meanwhile, the indefinite fast launched by seven students of the university entered the fourth day today.

G Prabhakar, one of the fasting students, said they would like to continue with the fast even as doctors expressed concern over their health.

“We want to continue (fast). Our demands not yet fulfilled. They say (Prime Minister) Modi talked in Lucknow yesterday and a judicial committee is appointed and all. You appoint a judicial commission, no problem, but take action against people who actually caused this death,” he said.

“(Vice Chancellor) Appa Rao, primary accused, dismiss from VC post. (Union Ministers) Smriti Irani and Bandaru Dattatreya, who wrote letters to university, arrest them. Without arresting, these (judicial commission, etc) don’t give us confidence,” Prabhakar said.

Expressing concern over the health of the fasting students, Dr Ravindra Kumar, a senior doctor of a team which examined them, said, “They have been on hunger strike for the last four days. What we had seen on the very first day and what we see today, it is a rapid deterioration of the medical status. We find their blood pressures are highly fluctuating and their sugar levels unstable.”

“We feel that we need to intervene and medically give some support. We have to discuss with the boys and we will see the next course of action,” he told reporters.


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