Not satisfied with the two-member fact-finding team sent by the HRD Ministry to Hyderabad Central University, Ram Vilas Paswan’s Lok Janashakti Party (LJP), an NDA ally, has demanded a probe by an independent agency into the Dalit student’s suicide.
“We don’t want to suggest which agency should probe it. Let it be CBI or anyone else, but it should be done to get all the facts of the case,” said Chirag Paswan, MP and Ramvilas’a son, Thursday.
“Definitely, (Bandaru) Dattatreya’s letter had a vital role in the whole affair. But to what extent and to what end should be thoroughly probed,” added Chirag, who also heads the party’s Parliamentary Board.
On Wednesday night, a delegation from the LJP’s Dalit Sena, led by MP Ramchandra Paswan, returned from Hyderabad and submitted its findings to party chief and Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan.
“Prima facie the report indicates that there were situations created that compelled Rohith (Vemula) to take such an extreme step,” said Chirag.
But when asked if the party supported the Opposition’s demand for the resignation of ministers Bandaru Dattatreya and Smriti Irani, he said nothing should be done in a hurry.
“Let a probe happen and after that whoever is responsible should be punished,” he said.
Ram Vilas Paswan, meanwhile, refused to comment on the matter.
But party sources said that the level of discomfort among LJP functionaries at the grassroots level was rising over a string of incidents involving Dalit victims, including the ones in Haryana and Hyderabad. With Dalits being the party’s main vote-base, LJP workers, sources claimed, were restive over involvement of Irani and Dattatreya in the latest controversy, and the remarks of Union minister V K Singh after the killing of two Dalit children in Faridabad.
On BJP’s Wednesday press meet, an LJP member said: “The entire press conference was defensive. At a time when the government needed to simply show sympathy for the boy (Rohith), the ministers talked about caste politics and student politics.”
Reflecting the growing unease over recent developments, a party insider said: “…we were promised that minorities and backward classes, will not be disturbed by the government’s agenda. There is a feeling among the party cadre that the promise is being broken time and again.”