Rohith not a Dalit: Naini

Rohith not a Dalit: Naini
Highlights

Home Minister Naini Narasimha Reddy on Saturday claimed that research scholar Rohith Vemula was not a Dalit. The statement sparked a heated discussion in the State Assembly. Intervening during the discussion on the University of Hyderabad (UoH) and Osmania University incidents, Narasimha Reddy objected to the reference that Rohith was Vemula a Dalit and claimed that he belonged to \"Vaddera,\" a Bac

Hyderabad: Home Minister Naini Narasimha Reddy on Saturday claimed that research scholar Rohith Vemula was not a Dalit. The statement sparked a heated discussion in the State Assembly. Intervening during the discussion on the University of Hyderabad (UoH) and Osmania University incidents, Narasimha Reddy objected to the reference that Rohith was Vemula a Dalit and claimed that he belonged to "Vaddera," a Backward Class.

Congress MLA Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka, however, took objection to the Home Minister denying the statement by Rohibith’s mother. Speaking on the issue later, Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao said it did not matter whether or not Rohith was a Dalit. But his suicide and the incidents that followed were quite painful.

The Home Minister intervened while Congress member S Sampath was speaking on the incidents in UoH. He justified the police entering the campus because of violence. Elaborating on the incidents in the UoH, the Home Minister said when the Vice Chancellor returned to the office after a gap of two months, around 100 students stormed into his office and damaged furniture, glass panes, computer, television and other articles.

He said the police tried to pacify the students for six hours. When the police, he said, was trying to stop them, the students hurled stones on the cops, resulting in injuries to some personnel, including a woman constable. Police arrested 25 students and two faculty members and booked cases and inquiry was on.

Regarding the Osmania University issue, the Home Minister said when the dead body of a person was found in the sump in the campus, students protested stating that it was the body of one of their colleagues. The students did not allow the body to be taken out for postmortem and demanded identification of the body.

Police officials showed the Aadhaar card of deceased but still the students did not allow them to take body to the hospital. In the meantime, Alampur MLA S Sampath came to the spot. The police officials explained about the situation and the identification of the body but the unsatisfied MLA staged a sit-in on the campus, he added.

He said the residents of Manikeshwari basthi came to the spot and identified the body as that of B Shilari Babu, a labourer from their locality. When the body was being shifted, the students started hurling stones leading to severe injuries to additional DCP Chandrashekar and 16 other personnel.

Tata Sumo driver Lingam too suffered severe injuries and is undergoing treatment in Yashoda hospital, he said. Police in fact took the MLA to the police station for his own safety. Police booked five cases in the incident and the inquiry was on, he said.

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