JNU sedition row created to dilute Rohit Vemula’s suicide, says former ABVP member

New Delhi: The chargesheet against 10 Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) students is politically motivated and the entire issue is the brain-child of the Bharatiya Janata Party, which stoked the controversy in the first place to dilute the suicide of University of Hyderabad student Rohith Vemula,  a former student leader from RSS-affiliated ABVP has said.

Pradeep Narwal, who left the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) after the JNU sedition row in 2016, told IANS that the entire matter is politically-motivated and that it has given a chance to certain media organisations to exploit it to serve their political masters.

“This was a media trial, then, and this is a media trial, now. The controversy was created by the BJP to dilute the suicide of Rohith Vemula, who was forced to end his life by Bandaru Dattatreya (then labour minister from Telangana), who escalated the matter to the HRD Ministry, while the matter should have been dealt by the Vice Chancellor at his level,” Narwal said.

Vemula committed suicide three years back on this day in his room on the University of Hyderabad campus. In his suicide note, he had narrated how he was being victimised for being a low caste and how casteism was rife in the university. His death sent thousands of university students across India into agitation, who waged several protests against the “institutional discrimination” at places of higher education.

Narwal, who joined the Congress six months back, said the chargesheet has been filed to create a “narrative” before the general election on the basis of “doctored videos”. “If due process is not followed in this case, it would be a biggest fraud on democracy,” he said.

The Delhi Police on Monday filed a chargesheet naming Kanhaiya Kumar, Umar Khalid, Anirban Bhattacharya and seven Kashmiri students saying anti-national slogans were raised by them at an event held at Sabarmati Dhaba at JNU campus in February 2016. The police has cited video footage made by ABVP members among others as evidence.

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