Free Press Journal

Govt flared up JNU issue to camouflage Vemula suicide: Kanhaiya


Hyderabad, Mar 23 (PTI) JNU Students Union leader Kanhaiya Kumar today alleged the government flared up the issue of JNU to divert people’s attention from the Rohit Vemula’s suicide issue and subsequent developments. Addressing a press conference after landing here this afternoon, Kumar, accompanied by local CPI leaders, said the fight will continue until the government brings “Rohit Act” to curb atrocities on the lines of Nirbhaya Act.

“The government smartly made issue of JNU to keep Rohit Vemula’s issue under carpet. But we all know that even if we are different, we are one when it comes to saving justice in the nation. That’s why as soon as I came out jail, on behalf of JNUSU, I thought I would go to Hyderabad. My first visit outside Delhi would be Hyderabad,” he said.

He said Vemula’s mother is like Bhagat Singh’s mother in present circumstances. Kumar was scheduled to address a meeting on the campus this evening at the invitation of the Joint Action Committee for Social Justice, which had spearheaded an agitation earlier demanding “justice” for Dalit research scholar Vemula, who committed suicide in a hostel room at HCU on January 17.

“Today, I will first meet Rohith Vemula’s mother Radhika and his brother Raja. JAC has invited me to address a public meeting on HCU campus… If police allows me then I will definitely go to HCU and address the students,” Kanhaiya told reporters at the Rajiv Gandhi International airport here.

“We have experience with JAC for various struggles and we will take this fight forward… This struggle will continue until ‘Rohith Act’ is implemented… to fulfil his (Rohith) dreams of social justice on the campus,” he said.

Earlier, HCU authorities categorically said they would not allow outsiders, including media and political party leaders, on the campus in view of the prevailing situation. Yesterday, HCU vice-chancellor Appa Rao Podile’s official residence was vandalised by students and police had to baton charge another group during their protest against him resuming charge after a two-month leave in the wake of suicide by Vemula.

Notably, the mother and brother of the Dalit research scholar had last month met political leaders, including Sonia Gandhi, Sitaram Yechury and K C Tyagi, seeking their support for enactment of a ‘Rohith Act’ against caste discrimination in educational institutions.