Rahul compares Rohith Vemula to Mahatma Gandhi

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Rohith Vemula

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HYDERABAD- Rahul Gandhi today went on a day-long fast at Hyderabad Central University rallying behind protesting students on Rohith Vemula suicide issue.

Rahul, who is visiting the campus for the second time in as many weeks, tweeted, “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 Gandhiji (Mahatma Gandhi) and to every single Indian student who dreams of an India free from prejudice and injustice,” he said in another tweet.

BJP accused him of “politicising” a sensitive matter.

Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said nine cases of Dalit student suicides had taken place in the campus during the UPA rule but Rahul never bothered to go there as he asked opposition parties to wait for the report of the judicial commission probe ordered by the Centre into the suicide.

“Congress is shedding crocodile tears simply to gain political mileage. This is part of their anti-Modi campaign across the country,” he told reporters.

Hitting back at the BJP, Congress accused it of failing to initiate action against its leaders including Union ministers for the suicide of the Dalit scholar.

“Who has resorted to politics in the matter? It is the BJP. Union Minister Dattatreya wrote to HRD Minister Irani against the Dalit students following complaint from the ABVP President. The HRD Minister wrote as many as five letters to the University,” senior party spokesman Ajay Maken said.

Wondering whether this was not politicisation, he accused BJP General Secretary Murlidhar Rao of making the “patently false” charge that Rohit was not a dalit and that the dalit scholars had links with the Naxals.

Activists of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) protested against Rahul’s visit even as it called for a “bandh” in Telangana colleges.

Vemula was found hanging in the varsity’s hostel room on January 17.

The Congress Vice President had visited the University on January 19 following the suicide by the Dalit scholar and met the agitating students and the family members of Vemula.

Mr Gandhi spent about two hours with agitating students and participated in a candle light vigil along with 2,000 students past midnight to mark the birthday of Rohith, who would have turned 27 today.

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