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BJP Seeks Rahul Gandhi’s Apology For “Politicising” Rohith Vemula’s Death

The BJP has called for an apology from Rahul Gandhi following the closure report filed by Telangana Police in the Rohith Vemula suicide case. It has also accused Congress and its allies of exploiting Dalits for political gains.

Pointing out that the Congress government is in power in Telangana, BJP asked: “Now that Telangana Police has filed a closure report in court, stating that Rohith Vemula was not a Dalit and his death was a suicide, will Rahul Gandhi apologise to the Dalits?”

Accusing Mr Gandhi of politicising the issue, BJP IT Cell head Amit Malviya took to his official social media handle on X and shared a video of his speech in Lok Sabha.

Mr Malviya captioned the video: “Rahul Gandhi used the floor of the House to politicise Rohit Vemula’s death for his ugly politics. Now that Telangana Police, under a Congress government, has filed a closure report, stating that Vemula did not belong to the SC community and died by suicide, will Rahul Gandhi apologise to the Dalits?”

Further criticising the Congress and other Opposition parties, Mr Malviya wrote: “The Congress and so-called ‘secular’ parties have often used Dalits for their politics but always failed to provide them justice. This is yet another instance.”

Who was Rohith Vemula ?

Vemula was born on January 30, 1989 and he hailed from Andhra Pradesh’s Guntur district. He was a PhD scholar at University of Hyderabad where he was a part of the Ambedkar Students Association (ASA) on campus.

After Vemula’s death, the BJP and Congress clashed with each other. The Congress accused the BJP of “failing to initiate action” against its leaders including Union ministers. It also criticized the “anti-Dalit attitude” of the Centre.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi also went on a day-long fast in Hyderabad to oppose the Centre’s alleged inaction. Meanwhile, the BJP alternated between accusing the Congress of playing politics over the death of a “courageous” student to questioning Vemula’s identity as a Dalit. The saffron party also accused Congress of “deceiving and exploiting the sentiments of the mother of Rohith Vemula for petty political gains”. It sought an apology from Rahul Gandhi over this.

Over the years, Vemula’s death has been brought up by both Congress and BJP to trade charges against each other. The BJP has maintained that the Congress was playing “low-level politics” over Venmula’s death. Meanwhile in February 2023, the Congress promised to bring in a special legislation called the “Rohith Vemula Act” to redress the discrimination faced by students from SC, ST, and OBC, if voted to power.

Closure report filed by Telangana police

The report, which police submitted in the Telangana High Court on Friday, said Vemula committed suicide in fear of his real caste being revealed as he did not belong to the Scheduled Caste category. It also alleged that the family forged the caste certificates without providing any evidence for the same.

“There is no evidence of any fact or circumstance available on the record which dragged him to commit suicide and no one is responsible for his death,” the report read.

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