Human Resource and Development Minister Smriti Irani addressed a press conference over the suicide of 26-year-old Rohith Vemula of the Hyderabad Central University. Dalit research scholar, Vemula was found hanging from the ceiling of a room in the New Research Scholars’ Hostel of the University of Hyderabad on Sunday.

He was one of the five Dalit students suspended and expelled from the hostel and was staging a protest on the campus for the past 15 days.

Highlights from Irani’s conference:

  • The local police gave a certified copy of the suicide note. The suicide note by the dalit student does not talk about any particular MP or political party.
  • There has been a malicious attempt to project the issue as a caste battle. The truth is that, it is not.
  • Letter from Congress MP Hanumantha Rao shows that such incidents were happening in past 4 years as well.
  • Bandaru Dattatreya ji was not the only MP who expressed concern on Hyd Univ, Congress MP Hanumantha Rao also wrote.
  • I am here to clear certain misrepresentation of facts on the suicide of Rohith.
  • A group of students allegedly attacked another student, we have ascertained that this is not a Dalit vs non-Dalit confrontation.
  • They are some media debates which claim a particular suicide note. We requested a copy from local police.
  • My request is to be extremely responsible, I will not comment on unsubstantiated reports.
  • Let us be extremely responsible, its easy to ignite passion.
  • The first inquiry did not consult either party involved in August’s clash at Hyderabad University.
  • Warden of hostel who asked students to stop using hostel was from Dalit community.
  • High Court did not accept suspended students’ appeal to access the hostel.
  • Executive Council members that decided punishment are nominees of previous government, not this government.
  • We have sent a fact-finding team recognising it is the jurisdiction of the state government.