Jaipur: Demanding a CBI inquiry into the rape of a now-dead minor Dalit girl in Rajasthan, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday attacked the Modi government over what he said was its “indifferent attitude” towards the Dalits in the country.
To stress his point, he pointed to Hyderabad University research scholar Rohith Vemula’s case whose death, he said, was a murder and not a suicide.
Addressing a Dalit Sammelan organised here by the Congress, he said: “Rohith Vemula was a Dalit and was being targeted and discriminated against.”
“You are a Dalit. Don’t think you are like others. The complete force of the Indian government was targeting him. He succumbed to pressure and committed suicide,” Gandhi said.
“It was not a suicide. It was a murder committed by the Indian government. He was pressurised and discriminated (against) so much that an intelligent boy broke down, succumbed to pressure and committed suicide,” the Congress vice president said.
“What did the government say after his death; what did Sushma Swaraj ji say: this boy was not a Dalit; Rohith Vemula was not a Dali. And, I said question is not if he was a Dalit or not. The question is why a boy was killed.”
Earlier in the day, Rahul Gandhi visited the 17-year-old girl’s village in Barmer, over 550 km from Jaipur and met with her family.
The family said she was raped before she was found dead under mysterious circumstances in her institute’s water tank in Rajasthan’s Bikaner district.
“In the morning, I went to Barmer and met the family of a Dalit girl. The Rajashtan government says it was a suicide not a murder. A delegation meets Chief Minister Vasundhara (Raje) ji. The first question she asked was for whom have you come — the girl or the other side. When the delegation members said they had come to plead for the girl’s case, who was murdered, the chief minister said why are you wasting my time? Why are you insulting my government?,” the Congress leader said.
“The chief minister’s job is to provide justice,” he added.
The girl was pursuing a course to become a school teacher in Bikaner but was found dead on March 29.
The girl’s parents alleged their daughter was raped and murdered in the institute by a teacher and she was also subjected to caste abuse by one of the teachers.
Three teachers are at present in judicial custody till April 21 and investigations are underway into the case.
Gandhi spent about half an hour with the family and enquired about the state government’s action in the case.
Talking to the media, Gandhi said: “We want justice for the family. It is the state government’s duty to provide justice to the family.”
“Proper inquiry should be conducted,” he said, demanding “a CBI probe” into the matter.