Rahul Gandhi on HCU campus again, Sushma Swaraj says Rohith wasn’t Dalit

BJP leaders attack Rahul, call visit ‘classic politics of vulturisation’

By: Express News Service | New Delhi/hyderabad | Updated: February 1, 2016 2:03 pm
Rohith Vemula, Rohith Vemula suicide, Rohith Vemula death, Rahul gandhi, rahul gandhi Rohith Vemula suicide, rahul gandhi in hyderabad, dalit student death protest, hyderabad university, hyderabad news, india news, latest news Rahul Gandhi with protesting students at the University of Hyderabad campus on Saturday. (PTI Photo)

As Rahul Gandhi joined the protests over Rohith Vemula’s suicide for the second day in Hyderabad on Saturday, the BJP unleashed a coordinated attack, accusing the Congress vice-president of “politics of vulturisation” and saying he was using the students as a “tool” in their campaign against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

An ANI report from Thane quoted External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj as saying, “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 (made into) a communal incident by some people.”

Rahul came to Hyderabad on Friday for a midnight candle-light procession to mark Rohith’s birthday — he would have turned 27 today. On Saturday, Rahul held a day-long fast, joining the mass hunger strike being held on the University of Hyderabad campus.

It was his second visit to the university to express solidarity with Rohith. In the evening, Rahul, Rohith’s mother Radhika and his brother broke the fast together.

Rahul blamed the “interference” of the Union HRD Ministry for the suicide of Rohith, who hanged himself in a hostel room on January 17. Later, after breaking his fast, he drew a parallel between Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination and Rohith’s suicide.

READ: Set up students counselling system: UGC

“It is an interesting day as it is not just Rohith’s birthday but also Mahatma Gandhi’s death anniversary. Nobody has the right to take away the right to search for truth and this is exactly what happened with Gandhiji also and now with Rohith. When you let what has happened to Rohith happen, it will happen to you one day also. My main opposition to Mr Modi and RSS is that they are crushing the spirit of Indian youngsters by imposing their ideas,” he tweeted.

Speaking in Indore, BJP general secretary Kailash Vijaywargiya called Rohith’s expulsion from Hyderabad University hostel a “small incident”, and said he doubted if it alone led to the “courageous youth’s” suicide. He added, “Those people who are responsible for his suicide are the ones who are agitating to defame Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government.”

READ: Rohith’s friends echo his story of struggle

BJP national secretary Shrikant Sharma and spokesperson Sambit Patra accused Rahul of “vitiating” the atmosphere, while Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said the Congress was shedding “crocodile tears”.

“Congress and communist parties are trying to make this a political issue and making a beeline to the university, forgetting that nine such incidents happened during the UPA rule. This is part of their anti-Modi campaign across the country,” Naidu told reporters.

“At a place where students go to study, Rahul Gandhi is trying to vitiate the atmosphere,” Shrikant Sharma said.

The party appears to have decided to take the aggressive route again after toning down its stand on Rohith following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech saying he felt the pain of a mother’s loss and calling the Hyderabad student “Mother India’s son”.

Earlier the BJP stand raising Rohith’s “anti-national activities” had caused a political storm, inviting objections from its own Dalit leaders.

On Saturday, the BJP repeated its charge of an Opposition “conspiracy” in the protest, adding that the Congress “frustration” was showing as its leaders Sonia and Rahul Gandhi and most of the party chief ministers were facing serious corruption charges.

Telangana BJP spokesperson Krishna Saagar Rao said Rahul and the Congress appeared to be “politically bankrupt and unemployed”. “Why is Rahul Gandhi not in Chennai, where three girls committed suicide almost a week ago? His desperate attempt to earn some petty political expediency has brought him back to HCU campus. This is classic politics of vulturisation.”

Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari too joined the attack on Rahul, saying, “Exams are nearing in Hyderabad (university). All the students are busy with studies. The government has (already) announced a judicial probe. Peace has been restored there. Rahul Gandhiji is politicising the issue.”

Rahul, who was visiting the campus for the second time in as many weeks, said in tweets, “I am here today at the request of Rohith’s friends and family, to stand with them in their fight for justice. A young life full of dreams and aspirations was cut short. We owe it to him, to the memory of (Mahatma) Gandhiji and to every single Indian student who dreams of an India free from prejudice and injustice.”

Watch video: Delhi Police’s brutality on protesting students outside RSS head quarters

Nearly 2,000 students from various colleges and universities were present at the spot, including Pune’s FTII. In many colleges and Dalit colonies too, small functions were held to pay homage to Rohith to mark his birthday.

ABVP calls two-day protest

Accusing Rahul Gandhi of playing “caste politics” over the suicide of Rohith Vemula, the ABVP on Saturday called for a two-day nationwide protest to “expose the leader’s hidden agenda”. While calling the suicide “sad and serious”, ABVP national general secretary Vinay Bidre said it should not be construed as “a battle between Dalits and non-Dalits”.

“The ABVP contends that Vemula belongs to the Vaddera community and certificates which claim that he is a Dalit are false,” he said.

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First Published on: January 31, 2016 3:15 am
  1. A
    Aap
    Jan 31, 2016 at 10:52 am
    thought they were investigating with HR ministry. Now understood DNA test is being carried out.
    Reply
    1. I
      Islamforfoools
      Jan 30, 2016 at 3:19 pm
      Media and every congress person must die, they don't deserve to live life
      Reply
      1. C
        Chander Pal
        Jan 31, 2016 at 12:39 am
        Casual politics by a casual politician as a side engagement when not on his vacation
        Reply
        1. C
          crickin
          Jan 30, 2016 at 2:48 pm
          where was dumbu during mommy's rule for 10 yrs. In same UOH, 10 other DALITs commited suicide. if modi has any g u ts, should prosecute this fa mily for corruption, treachery, looting and exe cute them immediately.
          Reply
          1. Y
            Yash
            Jan 31, 2016 at 6:43 am
            Only abvp gundas are meant to do politics in university.
            Reply
            1. H
              Hari
              Jan 30, 2016 at 6:29 pm
              Anybody who supports a terrorist is anti national. Anybody who praises the person who supported terrorists is also anti national.
              Reply
              1. H
                Haradhan Mandal
                Jan 31, 2016 at 4:04 am
                It is not important whether Rohith (and 4 of his fellow activists) and their ASA were BC or SC or ST, Shudra, Outcast, or from the caste of Sushma ji. (or they were Kashmiri Pundits). What is important is why did they TRY to HOUND him and his fellow activists/friends (AND ASA of Rohith) with police case and with withdrawing scholarship and RUSTICATION- and subjugate them (Rohith and his friends) under their power. What is important is what WHAT 'THEY' THOUGHT THEIR (Rohith and his 4 friends) CASTE WAS. And they should tell us that. We all know the background history and it is not from some 'Puran'.
                Reply
                1. J
                  Jay
                  Jan 30, 2016 at 4:48 pm
                  What an absurd statement. Who told Rohith to support terrorists like Yakub?
                  Reply
                  1. L
                    Lalitha
                    Jan 30, 2016 at 7:18 pm
                    Good business model. Instigate caste and communal elements to fight each other while calling yourself "secular". Pretend to be supporter of minority. When in power loot the country and stash the money to countries such as Italy. From time to time disappear from the country for a couple of months to manage the ill gotten wealth stashed abroad, and to have pleasure tours. When you come back to India, obstruct Parliament, obstruct development. Good business, great model to follow! No need to p even a degree course. Is this the idea you want the youngsters of India to support and follow?
                    Reply
                    1. M
                      Mohan
                      Jan 31, 2016 at 4:31 pm
                      "" Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari too joined the attack on Rahul, saying, “Exams are nearing in Hyderabad (university). All the students are busy with studies. The government has (already) announced a judicial probe. Peace has been restored there. Rahul hiji is politicising the issue.” "" I'm from HCU. All of this is false. Exams are not nearing. Students are not busy with studies, but emotionally engaged in the protests. Things here have always been peaceful, except for the police lathicharging their way through peaceful protestors to take away Rohith's body. So there is no need to "restore" peace here. It is an intensely political issue, and Rahul hi is not required to politicise the issue. The government has announced a judicial probe, and at the same time is not taking any other action. And is also actively trying to trash Rohith's ideny. By the way, why on earth is the transport minister getting involved in this?
                      Reply
                      1. M
                        MyTake
                        Jan 30, 2016 at 6:36 pm
                        Here is the idea for Rahul hi. Stop shedding crocodile tears which is mostly to pave your way to your lost high seat! People know all the machinations of modern day hian avatars. Best thing, however, for you to do is to get all the hidden billions and spend that for the upliftment of Dalits and others. You don't have to spend your money on "Brahmins" (and they probably don't need your money either)!
                        Reply
                        1. M
                          MyTake
                          Jan 30, 2016 at 8:47 pm
                          IE express becoming like Hindustan Times! Very strange!
                          Reply
                          1. N
                            Naveen
                            Jan 30, 2016 at 5:57 pm
                            The question is: Rohith used university campus to conduct prayers for terrorist Yakub Memon. Did Rohith show any concern for the 147 innocent people killed by Yakub Memon? Is the life of Yakub Memon superior than those 147 lives destro?
                            Reply
                            1. N
                              Naveen
                              Jan 30, 2016 at 5:37 pm
                              Rohith used university campus to conduct prayers for terrorist Yakub Memon. Did Rohith show any concern for the 147 innocent people killed by Yakub Memon and Co? is Rohith the kind of person Rahul wants all students to follow? What will happen to India if all youngsters are misled to support terror elements?
                              Reply
                              1. P
                                PCKULKARNI
                                Jan 31, 2016 at 9:45 am
                                Sushmaji was he at least a human being?
                                Reply
                                1. P
                                  Pat
                                  Jan 30, 2016 at 5:26 pm
                                  People can read between the lines, raoul ghandy you have abused the country along with the congress netas, and your family, all over India the public properties are marked with family names. Why? People are the rightful owner, you are living off their money,investing with sonia's family. A big crime committed by your family. We have to dismantle congress , killed innocent Hindus, during repeated terrorism via stan with their don't care atude and crippling laws not to ounish them. You were caught by usa for a theft of Indians money in bag hmmmm?
                                  Reply
                                  1. D
                                    Devi Prasad
                                    Jan 31, 2016 at 4:51 am
                                    Look into the Equality Report w.r.t Caste Discrimination the UK, including in Schools by those with roots in India! Does the ministry of external affairs obtain separate report to recognise it? data/file/85521/caste-discrimination-summary.pdf
                                    Reply
                                    1. R
                                      Raje
                                      Jan 30, 2016 at 3:04 pm
                                      RG did fast of 2 hrs and MEDIA goes NUTS highlighting as if he did fast for 2 weeks.... MEDIA and PEOPLE should understand that Dalit and Muslim discrimination is because of putting all issues under the carpet for last 50 years and who was ruling all these 50 years? Guess...its RG's father, mother, gmother, and Nehru dada... Isnt it common sense on whose failure has resulted in the problem not solved till date?
                                      Reply
                                      1. R
                                        Rattihallirao
                                        Jan 31, 2016 at 1:11 am
                                        I observed in IE public comments turning out to be uncontrolled use of foul language and political barbs instead of some contsructive opinions or suggestions. Feel sad.
                                        Reply
                                        1. R
                                          Rattihallirao
                                          Jan 31, 2016 at 1:05 am
                                          Who is dalit and non dalit? Why Swaraj opened her gracious conclusion that Rohith is non dalit? Come on let us call every body Hindus, that is where the progress lies. No caste based reservations as many many so called SCs/STs, Dalits and Backward cles are doing very well professionally and financially. Modi's govt should infer this idea even at risks of loosing elections, will they dare?
                                          Reply
                                          1. R
                                            Romik
                                            Jan 30, 2016 at 4:20 pm
                                            Rahul is a low IQ sluggish guy( as his numerous public speeches have highlighted); Now the problem is that he has a a LOT of money( 5000 crores per some sources). Rahul please bring this money back to your country, it needs it. Start helping the SC/ST that you did not when you were in power. Maybe help them stand on their own feet. Pubilc tamasha is useless.
                                            Reply
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