HYDERABAD: After Rohith Vemula hung himself on campus at his university in Hyderabad, another student who has been charged by the police for playing a role in the suicide disappeared.
Susheel Kumar is a leader of the BJP’s student wing, the ABVP. In August, he filed a police complaint stating that Mr Vermula and four other students had assaulted him and kicked him in the stomach. The complaint, which also resulted in a court case and two university inquiries, is being cited by hundreds of protesting students as one of the main triggers for Mr Vemula’s suicide. The other, they allege, is the pressure put on university officials by Union Minister Bandaru Dattatraya, to act against Mr Vemula.
“They were doing namaz for Yakub Memon,” said Mr Kumar today, who has surfaced days after Mr Vemula’s suicide. The ABVP leader said that in August, Mr Vemula and his friends, all members of the Ambedkar Students Association were protesting against the execution of terrorist Yakub Memon. “They did namaz (offered prayers) for Yakub Memon. Anyone can protest against capital punishment, a constructive debate is fine, but statements (they made) like ‘every house will deliver a Yakub’ was disturbing,” Mr Kumar said to NDTV.
Mr Kumar says on Facebook, he described Mr Vemula and his friends as “goons”, prompting a late-night visit from them which, he said, erupted into such a serious assault on him that he was hospitalized. Medical reports state that he was admitted two days later and operated on for appendicitis; he said today that he was hospitalized the same night.
“Rohith is not a person who will commit suicide so easily,” Mr Kumar said today, amid national student protests alleging caste discrimination in Mr Vemula’s case. “What made him go into depression is a question we are also raising, and it must be properly investigated and culprits must be published,” he said, saying “There are suspicions about circumstances in which he committed suicide,” he said, adding, “what were his friends doing?”
In December, Mr Vemula and four others were suspended, which meant that though they could attend classes, they were barred from the hostel, library and cafeteria. A month later, Mr Vemula killed himself.