The agitating students at University of Hyderabad (UoH) are all set to name Union HRD minister Smriti Irani in the FIR on the death of Rohith Vemula, a Dalit scholar
The FIR, issued by the Gachibowli police station already includes the names of Union labour minister Bandaru Dattatreya, BJP MLC Ramachandra Rao and UoH vice-chancellor Appa Rao Podile on charges of driving Vemula to commit suicide.
“We will name Smriti Irani too on similar charges. We are drafting the legal document and finding out how to do it,” said Dontha Prashanth, Vemula’s fellow activist and member of Ambedkar Students’ Association (ASA).
At the same time, the Congress has also upped the ante against Irani. Congress spokesperson Madhu Yashki Goud said Dattatreya could only be seen as someone who had filed a complaint against ASA. “It is actually Irani who acted on that complaint and pressed for action.”
Citing personal reasons, Podile has gone on indefinite leave and Vipin Srivastava, who had headed the executive committee that expelled Vemula and four others, was appointed acting V-C, according to the UoH website, said ET.
Critics said that Srivastava was a bad choice. “He is even more tainted than Appa Rao,” said K Lakshminaraya, associate professor and University Teachers’ Association head. “He was dean of physics when another Dalit student, Senthil Kumar, took the extreme step in 2008. He is indirectly responsible for Vemula’s death.”
Meanwhile, Vemula’s sister Neelima refused to take the Rs 8 lakh ex-gratia offered by the UoH. “We do not need your money. Even if you give Rs 8 crore, we do not need it,” she said.
A suffering Radhika, Vemula’s mother, said when Nirbhaya was brutally raped and killed, did anyone question her caste? Then why is Vemula’s caste being questioned here,” she asked.