Vemula suicide: Kejriwal holds Smriti Irani, Dattatreya responsible

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Arvind Kejriwal, Delhi Chief Minister
Arvind Kejriwal, Delhi Chief Minister

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on 21 January attacked Union HRD minister Smriti Irani over her statement on Rohith Vemula’s, a research scholar, suicide and alleged that she spoke “one lie after another”.

After speaking with student protesters at the university campus, Kejriwal said “Irani by mouthing lies tried to create a row over Rohith’s caste.” Later, the Delhi chief minister also met Vemula’s parents.

Describing Vemula’s suicide as murder of democracy, the Aam Aadmi Party demanded immediate action against Union ministers Smriti Irani and Bandaru Dattatreya, who they exclusively blame for the student’s suicide.

Attacking labour minister Dattatreya, Kejriwal said that it was shameful that a minister had used words such as extremist, casteist and anti-national in his letter to the HRD minister “without finding out the actual facts.”

Kejriwal had on 20 January demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi remove Irani and Dattatreya from the Union Cabinet or apologise to the nation over Vemula’s suicide. He also questioned the ministers’ “interference” in the institution’s internal affairs.

Vemula was among the five research scholars who were suspended by the university in August last year over an alleged assault case. They were also kept out of the hostel.

The issue took a political turn with accusations that Vemula’s suicide was a result of bias against Dalit students.

Meanwhile, Kejriwal will go to Bengaluru for undergoing naturopathy treatment for his chronic cough on January 27 for ten days instead of January 22.

Earlier, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, CPI (M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury, YSR Congress Party leader Jagan Mohan Reddy among others have already visited the university.