New Delhi: Dalit student Rohith Vemula’s mother on Friday launched a scathing attack on HRD minister Smriti Irani, accusing her of resorting to “blatant lies” while talking in Parliament about her son’s suicide and that “life imprisonment” will not be enough for her and others “responsible” for his death.
Radhika Vemula, flanked by her other son Raja, said BJP will be “decimated to the ground” if Prime Minister Narendra Modi does not take any action against Irani and her ministerial colleague Bandaru Dattatreya who had written multiple letters to her seeking action against Rohith, alleging anti-national activities.
“Irani, this is not a small screen to act, this is real life. Bring out the facts, don’t fabricate them. How many parents you would like to suffer. Irani has lied multiple times while speaking on the issue in Parliament. Why has action not been taken against her?” she said in a news conference.
Speaking in Parliament, Irani had on Wednesday tried to deflect criticism and mounted a strident attack on the opposition accusing it of “politicizing” the PhD scholar’s death.
She had said that the committee which acted against Rohith had a dalit representative and that doctors were not allowed to revive him after he was found hanging.
Rohith’s brother Raja dubbed Irani’s comments as “blatant lies”, saying he reached the campus by 8.30pm and saw police and doctors where his body was kept.
“Even life imprisonment will not be enough for the ministers, vice-chancellor and the ABVP activists who were responsible for my son’s death. BJP will be decimated to the ground if Modi does not address the issues. We demand formation of an SIT to probe the case,” Radhika said.
Rohith’s friend Prashant, who was also expelled by the Hyderabad University, cited minutes of the executive council meeting of Hyderabad University, claiming that action was taken against them “in response” to communication from the HRD ministry to not allow the students to continue academic activities.
26-year-old Rohith was found hanging at a hostel room in the university on January 17, days after punitive action was taken against him and four other students for allegedly attacking an ABVP functionary.
Students and Rohith’s family have been alleging that Irani and Dattatreya had forced the university to take action against him and others.
The duty doctor at the University of Hyderabad on Thursday contradicted Irani’s claim that no doctor was allowed near the body to revive him.
Prashant said Irani must be punished for misleading the nation and giving a false statement in Parliament which is “an offence” under the Constitution.