New Delhi: As politicians cutting across party lines are making a beeline for the Hyderabad University campus to express solidarity with the students, who are protesting over the suicide of Dalit research scholar Rohith Vemula, Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani on Wednesday said that the issue is not a Dalit versus non-Dalit issue.
“This is not a Dalit versus non-Dalit issue as being projected by some to ignite passion,” the Union HRD Minister said.
Various political parties and leaders have blamed Union Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya's letter of August 17 last year to Smriti Irani seeking action against the "anti-national activities" of students union and the alleged assault of an ABVP leader and a series of (five) communications from the HRD Ministry between Sept 3 and Nov 19 demanding follow up action for the suicide.
Rejecting the allegations of various political parties, the Bharatiya Janata Party leader said, ''Dattareya's is not the only one, even Congress MP Hanumantha Rao wrote letter a raising issues pertaining to the Hyderabad University.''
"The fact-finding team, which was sent by the HRD Ministry, is expected to return this evening and will file a report," she further said.
Rohith Vemula was found hanging from the ceiling of a room in the New Research Scholars' Hostel late on Sunday. He was one of the five Dalit students suspended from the university and expelled from the hostel. Before committing suicide, he was staging a protest on the campus for the past 15 days.