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BJP can be reduced to double digits in 2019: Jignesh Mevani

Challenging ruling BJP to change the Indian constitution, Dalit leader and newly elected MLA of Gujarat, Jignesh Mevani appealed all the like minded ‘liberal organisations’ to unite against BJP . “We have shown our strength in Gujarat and if we unite nationally, we can bring down BJP’s number of seats to double digits in 2019 elections,” Mevani said in Pune on Sunday.Mevani was speaking at ‘Elgar Parishad’, a conference organised at Shanivarwada to mark 200 years of Bhima Koregaon battle fought between Peshwas and small army of British East India Company mostly consisting of Dalit soldiers. Along with Mevani, Rohit Vemula’s mother Radhika Vemula, JNU student Umar Khalid, national president of Bhim army Vinay Ratan Singh also attended the conference which was being opposed by right wing groups.Mentioning the opposition to the conference in his speech, Mevani said, “There were some people who were trying to scare me to stop me from coming to Pune. I want to tell all of them that when I did not get scared of Narendra Modi and Amit Shah in Gujarat, you have long way to go to be able to scare me. I have torn apart the 56 inch chest in Gujarat.”Also readJignesh Mevani denied permission for Vadaj victory rallyReacting to the recent controversial statement given by Minister of state for skill development Anant Kumar Hegde that BJP has come to power to change the constitution, Mevani said, “I am throwing an open challenge to BJP to change the constitution if they can. We will put our entire might to save the constitution. I am appealing all the like minded liberal organisations to join hands against BJP.””BJP was talking about getting 150 seats but due to our stern fight, they were restricted to 99. Now if we unite all the organisations, we will be able to bring down the BJP’s tally to double digits in 2019,” he added. Umar Khalid in his speech said, “During Gujarat elections, Modi tried spreading communal hatred to win votes. Now since Jignesh has won election in Gujarat, we will have to support him to share his responsibility.”Also readJignesh Mevani asks PM Modi to retire, go to HimalayasSpeaking about the recent incident of Rajasthan where a man was killed and his body was burnt owing to religious hatred, Khalid said, “Today, the entire humanity is in danger. We have already seen the trailer of 2018 in Rajasthan. In the year 2018, we will keep hearing about the topic of Ram mandir, Love Jihad, Gau raksha and not the issues like development and jobs.”

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Gujarat elections 2017 | Flag row: Rahul Gandhi plays patriot card in Gujarat

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A 125-ft-long flag weighing 250kg made by students, farmers and members of the Dalit Shakti Kendra was the thing with which Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi chose to beat the ruling BJP.The flag was originally offered to Chief Minister Vijay Rupani who expressed his inability to accept it on the grounds that there wasn’t any space available to store it.”Modiji and Rupaniji do not have the space to accommodate the Indian Flag. It shows the stinginess of their hearts. I will take this flag even if I have just 1 inch of space with me because I keep the Indian flag in my heart,” said Gandhi, while addressing people at the Kendra’s office at Nanidevati in Sanand, Ahmedabad.”The PM and CM have no place for a flag, but the entire Gujarat is available for the picking for just five industrialists,” Gandhi said, commenting on the oft repeated allegation that the Gujarat government has been liberal in granting land to industries at a throwaway price.He further added that the Congress allotted Rs35,000 crore for MNREGA every year. “And Modiji, when he was the CM, gave land and money worth Rs 35,000 crore to Tata Nano’s factory. And what has happened to it? Has anyone seen the car on the road?” he asked.Congress sources claimed that on hearing about CM Rupani refusing to accept the flag, Rahul volunteered to get it accommodated. The flag will be housed at the GCCI office in Ahmedabad. Earlier, on the way to the venue, Rahul stopped at a roadside stall in Sanand to have tea and snacks. The event also saw BJP’s Dalit leader from Rajkot, Siddharth Parmar, joining the Congress entourage.Addressing the crowd, many of whom were Dalits, Rahul said he had visited the victims of Una flogging and to Hyderabad, after the suicide of Dalit scholar Rohit Vemula.He was responding to a question that Martin Macwan of Navsarjan had posed earlier: whether the Congress had also stayed mum when Dalit rights were being trampled. Turn to P4″Vemula did not commit suicide, the Indian government killed him,” Rahul said as people clapped resoundingly. He also planted a Peepal sapling on the campus.Resurfaced roads for RahulThe roads from Bavla to the venue were Rahul was to deliver his speech seemed newly resurfaced. Local residents joked that development has come even before the Congress could be voted to power.2 nabbed for theftTwo persons were nabbed by people in the audience for allegedly stealing one person’s mobile phone and another’s wallet. Though police took custody of the two, nothing was recovered from them.Main BOXMinistry for fishermen: Rahul’s wordRahul Gandhi promised to create a separate ministry for fisheries if the party comes to power at the Centre. He was addressing the fishing community in Porbandar. “Fishermen’s work is equivalent to that of farmers. Sometime back, you demanded that if there was a ministry to look after the agriculture sector, why not for fishermen? I agree with you, and I promise that the Congress will set it up after forming the government at the Centre,” he said.

Mayawati threatens to emulate Ambedkar and convert to Buddhism if BJP doesn’t change ‘mindset’ towards Dalits

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BSP chief Mayawati today attacked the BJP claiming it should change its mindset towards the Dalits, Tribals and backward classes or else she would be forced to convert to Buddhism like Bhimrao Ambedkar.”I throw an open challenge to the BJP to change its casteist and communal mindset towards Dalits, Adivasis, Backwards and also those who have changed their religion or else I will also have to take a decision towards changing my religion to Buddhism,” she said at a party rally here.Recalling Ambedkar, she said that after witnessing discrimination in the ‘varna vyawastha’ (caste system) in Hinduism, he had called on the Shankaracharyas and seers to modify it. Since it was not done, Ambedkar, a little before his death, converted to Buddhism in Nagpur along with his followers, she said.The BSP chief said that she too is giving an opportunity to the Shankaracharyas, religious leaders and people associated with the BJP to change their thinking or else she too will convert to Buddhism at the right time along with crores of supporters.Accusing the BJP of taking the “casteist agenda” of the RSS forward, she blamed it for the suicide of Rohith Vemula in Hyderabad and the Una case of Gujarat where some Dalits were assaulted resulting in outrage and protests.Charging the BJP with fielding a Dalit associated with the RSS as the presidential candidate to garner votes, she said that because of this, Congress and other opposition parties had also fielded a Dalit candidate. PTI SAB SMI ADS

Opposition, activists slam probe panel report on Vemula death

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Opposition parties and activists today slammed a probe panel report that said Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula, who allegedly committed suicide last year, did not kill himself due to university action against him. The report of the one-man judicial commission under former Allahabad high court judge Justice A K Roopanwal, set up by the human resource development ministry, said “Vemula was a troubled individual and was unhappy for several reasons”. The enquiry commission report submitted to the HRD ministry last year, also said that Vemula was not a Dalit by caste, besides giving a clean chit to then HRD minister Smriti Irani and BJP leader Bandaru Dattatreya. Academic scholar and Dalit rights activist Kancha Ilaiah alleged that the report has been written to present the government’s version of the story. “What surprises me is that what the then HRD minister Smriti Irani had said about Vemula’s death is what forms the content of the report. “We would have taken it more seriously if Irani would have then said that ‘look we do not know what happened and we are constituting an enquiry to know about it’,” Ilaiah told reporters, adding “What the minister wanted to say is all what has been written in the report”. Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said he has been demanding a probe in the matter by a sitting Supreme Court judge for the truth to come out, asking “what can a retired judge say when the government has already made up its mind?” Congress’ Rajeev Gowda also slammed the report saying it was a “sham”. “It insults the memory of Vemula and the tragedy of his suicide. He was driven to death by mistreatment, harassment by varsity and intervention of central ministers into the issue,” he claimed. Vemula hanged himself in a hostel room on January 17 last year as he was allegedly upset over disciplinary action taken against him by the University of Hyderabad. His death had kicked up a controversy over the action against him that was alleged to have been prompted by complaints by BJP leaders.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Rohit Vemula was troubled individual, didn’t commit suicide over University action: Inquiry Commission

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Justice (retd.) AK Roopanwal Commission, which was constituted by the HRD Ministry to look into the circumstances leading to the death of Rohith Vemula at Hyderabad Central University, has said that the Dalit scholar was a troubled individual and didn’t commit suicide over University action.The report, that was made public on Tuesday stated that Rohith Vemula committed suicide of his own volition.”His suicide note is on the record which shows that Rohith Vemula had his own problems and was not happy with worldly affairs,” reported Times of India, quoting the report of Justice A K Roopanwal.”He was frustrated for the reasons best known to him…He also wrote that he was all alone from childhood and was an unappreciated man. This also indicates his frustration. He did not blame anybody for his suicide,” the report said.The report also said that if he would have been angry with the decision of the university, certainly either he would have written in specific words or would have indicated in this regard. “Vemula did not do the same. It shows that the circumstances prevailing in the university at that time were not the reasons for committing the suicide.” the report said.Rohith Vemula, 27, committed suicide on January 17, 2016 in a hostel room in Hyderabad Central University where he was a PhD scholar after he and four others were suspended from the hostel last year and restrictions were put on their movement by the university administration as part of disciplinary action for allegedly assaulting ABVP leader N Susheel Kumar. Vemula’s suicide had triggered a huge political storm with opposition parties launching a massive attack on the Union Government over the issue.

Rahul sure shot route to ‘Congress Mukt Bharat’, says BJP

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on launched scathing attack on Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi and said he is the sure shot route to Congress Mukt Bharat (Congress Free India). The ruling party?s attack on the Gandhi scion came a day after Rahul slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Centre while digging out issues including Rohith Vemula suicide case, Dadri lynching case and demonetisation drive. Speaking to ANI, BJP spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao said Rahul Gandhi is sure shot route for achieving BJP?s Congress Mukt Bharat (Congress Free India) aim. ?If there is one leader who has not been told the reality that is staring on the face of Congress then that is Rahul Gandhi. He has failed his party repeatedly elections after elections,? said Rao. The BJP spokesperson further added that due to the dynasty politic, the leader and workers of the Congress have not told Rahul to step-down to save the party. ?His party men have simply not mustered the courage to tell him to simply step out and stay out of politics to help the party,? said the BJP leader. Union Agriculture Minister Giriraj Singh took a dig at the way of Congress? functioning while castigating Rahul Gandhi. ?Congress does not appear to be a democratic party because of its hierarchical and dictatorial politics. Today, Congress is on the verge of collapse because of its dictatorial politics,? Giriraj said. He further added that Congress should introspect why its numbers in the Parliament have reduced to below 50. The BJP leaders were reacting to Rahul?s statements during his address at Dr. B.R. Ambedkar International Conference in Bengaluru on Friday. Raising the Rohith Vemula suicide case, the Congress vice president said that he didn’t commit suicide and was murdered for being a Dalit. Rahul also alleged that most of the institutions in the country have been captured by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the bureaucrats and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). Gandhi also took a dig at the Centre over its demonetisation drive which was introduced on 8 November last year. “Publicly they called it a stroke of genius and privately they called it insanity,” he said. Without naming PM Modi, the Congress vice president said, ?The emperor is completely naked but nobody around him has the courage to tell him.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Allow screening of 3 films at Kerala film festival: Filmmakers

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Over 150 filmmakers and artists have written a letter to Union minister M Venkaiah Naidu urging him to allow screening of three films at Kerala film festival which they claimed were denied permission by the government. The films were about suicide of a Dalit research scholar Rohit Vemula, student protests at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and the unrest in Kashmir through the eyes of young artists. The recent letter to Naidu, who holds the portfolio of Information and Broadcasting, said the three films were “dealing with prominent political issues” that have led to “much discussion” within the country. It alleged the the government was “resorting to draconian action to stifle all such political debate” and the article which guarantees the right to freedom of expression to every citizen. Claiming that the ministry has not given any reason for “withholding of screening permission”, the letter said, “We want to question the basis for denying screening permission to these films.” The 160 artists said they unequivocally condemned the action and lent unqualified support to the festival and the filmmakers who are being prevented from screening their films. “We urge the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to immediately issue an exemption letter to the three films and ensure that films at festivals do not face arbitrary censorship in future,” the artists said. The film which were denied screening permission were ‘In the Shade of Fallen Chinar’, ‘The Unbearable Being of Lightness’ and ‘March, March, March’–related to Kashmir, Vemula and JNU respectively. At least 262 short films and documentaries are expected to be screened in the five day ‘International Documentary and Short Film Festival of Kerala (IDSFFK) 2017’ that kicks off today. The film festival is organised by the Kerala State Chalachithra Academy, a body under the state government’s Department of Cultural Affairs. Films screened at the festival do not require a certificate from the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) but need a censor exemption certificate from Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to be screened at the festival.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

All outstation students must have a local guardian: Centre

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) has sent a circular to all higher education institutions instructing them to ensure every outstation student has a local guardian.This is one of the twelve pointers that the ministry sent as part of a circular to various institutes to prevent cases of suicides on campus. The ministry has also asked institutions to provide extensive counseling session to freshers, and to make them comfortable in the new campus.”Students who are staying away from their families should have a local guardian near their education institution so that they can go to them when they are under distress. When I was a student, colleges used to ask for a local guardian of the student, now that practice has stopped. We want the institutions to ask for local guardians again,” HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar told Loksabha on Tuesday.Currently, while colleges have been asking for local guardians of students, they do not insist on it. The government wants institutions to insist on having a local guardian for students.These steps have been taken after PhD Scholar Rohith Vemula’s suicide last year created an uproar in the country and discussions on preventing on-campus suicides were initiated. Many cases of suicides have been reported from IITs across the country as well.

JNU scholar had criticised admission policy in FB post

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A Dalit JNU scholar, who allegedly committed suicide last evening, was said to be at the forefront of a students movement following Rohith Vemula’s death and had severely criticised the varsity’s admission policy in a Facebook post days before taking the extreme step. In his post which has gone viral, 28-year-old student Muthu Krishnan had also slammed the recent prohibitory order by JNU authorities banning protests at the administration block. “There is no equality in MPhil/PhD admissions, there is no equality in viva-voce, there is only denial of equality, denying Prof Sukhadeo Thorat recommendation, denying students protest places in Ad-block, denying education to the marginals. “When Equality is denied everything is denied,” he had written in the Facebook post on March 1. Police, however, is claiming that he was not associated with any of the politically active groups on JNU campus and there is no prima facie evidence indicating the university administration’s role in the issue. Krishnan, who was from Tamil Nadu’s Salem district, completed his MPhil from the University of Hyderabad (UoH) in 2015 before joining JNU for his PhD. The student, a resident of JNU’s Jhelum hostel, was found hanging from the ceiling fan at a friend’s residence in South Delhi’s Munirka area yesterday. The JNU Students Union (JNUSU) is alleging that Krishnan was targeted for his association with the movement seeking justice for Rohith Vemula, who had committed suicide last year, and that depression had made him take the extreme step. While JNU authorities are tight-lipped on any allegations of discrimination, Vice Chancellor Jagadesh Kumar took to twitter to express his condolences. “JNU community is grief stricken at untimely & sad demise of Shri Muthukrishnan J. We pray that God be with his family at this critical time,” he tweeted. According to senior police officials, no suicide note has been recovered and the investigation is underway. “It is too early to comment on his association (with Rohith Vemula campaign). But so far, we know that he (Krishnan) was not associated with any student groups active in JNU. “He neither made any complaint to the JNU administration nor was there any complaint against him by the administration,” DCP (South) Ishwar Singh said. The reason why the student took the extreme step is not known yet since no suicide note has been recovered, said the officer. Meanwhile, political parties in Krishnan’s home state Tami Nadu, including AIADMK and DMK, have expressed concern over the incident and demanded a thorough probe into the issue.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Parties express concern over death of JNU student from TN

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>: Tamil Nadu’s various political parties, including the AIADMK and the DMK, today expressed concern over the death of a JNU student hailing from the state and sought a probe into the matter. AIADMK deputy general secretary T T V Dinakaran said Muthu Krishnan’s death at Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University and his references to “inequality” has sent “shock waves” across the state Referring to Krishnan’s links to a movement in support of “justice” for deceased Dalit research scholar Rohit Vemula in Hyderabad last year, Dinakaran said, “There are strong doubts if he really committed suicide, considering he was strong.” “Therefore, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal should take special interest and order for a proper probe and bring the facts to light. The culprits should not be spared at any cost,” he said in a statement. If the death was a suicide, there should be counselling classes for students in educational institutions to prevent the recurrence of such incidents, he said, expressing sympathies with Krishnan’s family. DMK working president and Leader of Opposition M K Stalin also expressed concern over Krishnan’s death. He questioned the suicide angle behind the student’s death and cited the statement of the victim’s father that his son could not have taken the extreme step. “The Delhi police cannot brush aside the fact that Krishnan was one of those who had sought justice for Vemula, and his Facebook post on inequality also cannot be ignored,” he said. “The Centre should order a fair probe into the matter,” he said, while demanding that it be handed over to the CBI. Stalin also urged Chief Minister K Palaniswami to take up the matter with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Krishnan, hailing from Salem, was found hanging in his University’s hostel room. JNU Students Union (JNUSU) has alleged he was targeted for his association with the movement seeking justice for Vemula and the resultant depression made him take the extreme step. While Krishnan has not left any suicide note, a recent Facebook post by him criticising “discriminatory” admission policies in JNU is being widely circulated on social media. “There is no equality in M Phil/PhD admissions, there is no equality in viva-voce, there is only denial of equality, denying Prof Sukhadeo Thorat recommendation, denying students protest places in Ad – block, denying the education of the Marginal’s. “When equality is denied everything is denied,” he wrote in his March 10 Facebook post. The police, on the other hand, has been maintaining that no prima facie evidence has been found indicating the JNU administration’s role into the issue. The CPI, the CPI(M) and the BJP also expressed concern over the student’s death and sought a probe into it.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

JNU suicide: Victim not associated with any pol group, says

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A day after a 27-year-old dalit student allegedly committed suicide at Jawaharlal Nehru University here, police today said he was not part of any politically active group on the campus. The deceased Muthu Krishnan, who had named himself ‘Krish Rajini’ on Facebook, hanged himself at his South Korean friend’s house in Munirka using a blanket yesterday. While the JNU students shared Krishnan’s Facebook posts condemning the Hyderabad varsity’s alleged role in dalit scholar Rohith Vemula’s suicide last year and criticism of JNU’s new admission policy, police ruled out any political affiliation of the victim. “It is too early to comment on his association (with Rohith Vemula). But so far, we know that he (Krishnan) was not associated with any student groups active in JNU. He neither made any complaint to the JNU administration nor was there any complaint against him by the administration,” DCP (South) Ishwar Singh said. The reason why the student took the extreme steap is not known yet since no suicide note has been recovered, said the officer. “It is an unfortunate incident. We conducted a search of his hostel room and the room where his body was found. But no suicide note has been recovered. We have sealed both the rooms. Forensic teams will be examining the rooms again,” he added. Krishnan’s body was discovered by his friend Gomen Kim, a South Korean national, and two other students Lakshyajeet and Issac– at Kim’s home where they had gone for lunch. The victim had retired to a room, saying that he had slept at 3 AM the day before and wanted to rest, police said. Around 4.30 PM, his friends called him and when he did not respond, they tried to break open the door and saw him hanging following which they alerted the police. Police said they will be scanning Krishnan’s Facebook posts and call records to ascertain what could have triggered such an extreme step. We have requested for a medical board to carry out his postmortem, they added. Krishnan had joined JNU in October last year.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Dalit JNU scholar who was found dead had led Rohith Vemula

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Dalit JNU scholar who allegedly committed suicide had previously been a student of the Hyderabad University and was at the forefront of the movement against the varsity’s administration following the suicide of Rohith Vemula. Twenty-eight-year-old Muthu Krishnan, who was from Tamil Nadu’s Salem district, completed his MPhil from the University of Hyderabad (UoH) in 2015 before joining JNU for his PhD. The deceased student, a resident of JNU’s Jhelum hostel, was found hanging from the ceiling fan of a friend’s residence in South Delhi’s Munirka area yesterday. The JNU Students Union (JNUSU) is alleging that Krishnan was targeted for his association with the movement seeking justice for Rohith Vemula and depression made him take the extreme step. While Krishnan has not left any suicide note, a recent Facebook post by him criticising “discriminatory” admission policies in JNU is being widely circulated on social media. “There is no Equality in M.phil/phd Admission, there is no equality in Viva – voce, there is only denial of equality, denying Prof Sukhadeo Thorat recommendation, denying students protest places in Ad – block, denying the education of the Marginal’s. “When Equality is denied everything is denied,” he wrote in the Facebook post on March 10. Police, on the other hand, is maintaining that no prima facie evidence has been found indicating JNU administration’s role into the issue. “Till now no evidence has been found that the extreme step was taken by the student owing to any issues at the university,” said a senior police officer, adding, “he is said to have been depressed for sometime over some personal issues”. “A PCR call was received at 5.05 PM yesterday that a person had locked himself in a room at a house in Munirka Vihar. On reaching the spot, police forced open the door as a portion of the latch was uprooted from inside,” he said. Meanwhile, the JNU authorities are keeping mum over the incident, saying police is investigating the issue.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Varun Gandhi says he broke down after reading Rohit Vemula’s suicide note

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Reminiscing the heart wrenching episode of Hyderabad University Ph.D scholar Rohit Vemula?s suicide, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Varun Gandhi said that he broke down after reading the letter which the former wrote before ending his life. While delivering a lecture on the ?Ideas for a new India?, organised by a private school here Gandhi said, ?Rohit Vemula, a dalit Ph.D student from Hyderabad committed suicide last year. When I read his letter, I broke into tears. Rohit wrote that he was taking the extreme step because he had committed the sin of taking birth in such form. This line pained my heart immensely,? Further vouching for Dalits, Gandhi raised concern over the biased behaviour donned by people in the nation against the weaker sections. ?Seventy per cent kids in a school didn?t eat their lunch under the mid-day meal scheme for quite some time as the food was cooked by a woman belonging to a weaker section,? he said. ?What are we teaching our kids? After all, where is this country and world heading for?? he asked. Gandhi further asserted and said that the Constitution didn?t discriminate along the caste and religion basis and that there is a need to understand the fact that 37 percent dalits in the country are Below Poverty Line (BPL).? He said 8 percent dalit children die before celebrating their first birthday. ?Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar had said we don?t need political democracy but social democracy. His thought was way ahead of his time,? the BJP leader said. Rohit?s suicide had kicked up a huge uproar across the country, with many dalit organisations and opposition parties holding protests seeking ?justice? for the deceased.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

New report declared Rohith Vemula a non-Dalit based on testimonies of only two out of seven people

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The inquiry report that recently declared Hyderabad scholar Rohith Vemula an OBC, thereby going against the earlier probe which said that he was a Dalit, took the testimonials of only two people says an HT story.The findings of the new report are being questioned by Rohith’s family and lawyers who believe that a fresh inquiry was conducted so Union minister Bandaru Dattatreya and university vice-chancellor (V-C) P Appa Rao who were accused of caste discrimination and abetment of suicide could escape stern action. “Once Rohith is certified a non-Dalit, those in the dock for allegedly abetting his suicide will not be tried under the more stringent SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. It is a simple game to protect the accused,” the lawyer fighting the case, Jai Bhimrao said. The new probe was conducted by the joint collector of Guntur district and it took into consideration of the testimonial of only two people who claimed Rohith was an OBC over the testimonies of five others who said he was a Dalit from the Mala caste. Rohith’s adoptive grandmother who belonged to the OBC caste, his grandfather, and his two siblings had said he was a Dalit. But the inquiry team weighed in Rohith’s estranged father’s and paternal grandmother’s statements that he was an OBC. The report did not reject that his mother was a Dalit.The earlier probe was conducted by Kantilal Dande, the deputy collector of Guntur, in the first week of June 2016. But the state government put the findings aside and ordered a new probe. Rohith’s family also alleged the state government asked for the new report as it was under pressure from BJP-led Centre. “This report has been prepared under pressure from the Chandrababu Naidu-led Andhra Pradesh government, which is a close ally of the BJP and PM Narendra Modi,” Raja Vemula, Rohith’s brother said.

DNA Evening Must Reads: Four year jail for Sasikala, national anthem row and more

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>1) Tamil Nadu crisis Live | Sasikala loyalist K Palanisamy meets Governor to stake claim to form govtWith All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazagham (AIADMK) general secretary VK Sasikala standing disqualified to take over as the next Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, the party leadership has appointed Edapadi K. Palanisamy as the new legislative leader. Caretaker Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam has been expelled from the party. As an aftermath to this development, Palanisamy can meet the TN Governor Ch. Vidyasagar Rao and stake the claim to form the government in the state.The political stalemate in the state, however, looks far from getting resolved as this would leave chances of a toss up between Palanisamy and Panneerselvam, if the governor asks for proof of majority in the assembly. Earlier in the day, Sasikala suffered a major jolt after the Supreme Court upheld the trial court’s judgement convicting her in the 19-year-old disproportionate assets case against her. Read more…2) Disproportionate Assets: Four years jail for VK Sasikala as SC convicts her in corruption caseThe Supreme Court on Tuesday convicted AIADMK General Secretary VK Sasikala Natarajan in the disproportionate assets case, in which late Tamil Nadu chief minister Jayalalithaa was also an accused. Sasikala will have to surrender herself to jail for undergoing remaining part of four year jail term.The two-judge bench comprising Justices P C Ghose and Amitava Roy quashed the Karnataka HC verdict acquitting Sasikala, however, abated the appeal proceedings against J Jayalalithaa owing to her death on December 5 last. Read more…3) Rohit Vemula wasn’t a Dalit, certificate acquired by fradulent means: Guntur collectorA report by the Guntur collector concluded that Rohith Vemula was not a Dalit, and his certificate was reportedly obtained by fraudulent means. The certificate will be cancelled. A notice has been served to Vemula’s family and response has been sought asking why his certificate shouldn’t be cancelled. The District Level Scrutiny Committee in Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh submitted his final report stating that neither Rohith nor his mother Radhika were Dalits.They reportedly belongs to Vaddera community which falls under the OBC category. Read more…4) No need to stand when national anthem is part of movie: SCThe Supreme Court on Tuesday modified its order that the audience need not stand when the national anthem is played as part of a story line in a film, newsreel or documentary.The verdict comes a month after a 59-year-old man was assaulted in a movie theatre in Mumbai for not standing up when the National Anthem tune was being played on screen in a scene of the Aamir Khan-starrer Dangal. Read more…5) Wholesale inflation rises to 5.25% in JanuaryWholesale Price Index-led inflation or wholesale inflation rose to 5.25% in January compared to December on the back of price rise in commodities, fuel and electricity prices, non-food articles and manufactured products. In December, wholesale inflation was at 3.39%.Fuel and power inflation grew to 18.14% compared to 8.65% last month, manufactured products was up at 3.99% versus 3.67%, the commodities index was up 1% non-food articles was up 2.5% and vegetables inflation grew but only slightly to to -32.32% from 33.11% in December. Read more…

Report on Vemula’s death tabled in both Houses, can be accessed through RTI: HRD Ministry

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The HRD ministry made it clear that the Justice (retd.) A K Roopanwal Commission report on the death of Rohith Vemula at Hyderabad Central University has been tabled in both Houses of Parliament and hence it is a public document that can be accessed through RTI.The ministry was responding to reports that it had rejected an RTI appeal for making public the commission’s report on the death of Vemula.Replying to an RTI query, the ministry had said that the file concerned was “under submission” and a copy of the report cannot be provided. In a statement today, the ministry said, “The fact of the matter is the said response to an RTI query was given at a time when the report of the Commission of Inquiry constituted by the government had not been laid in Parliament.” It is a statutory requirement under the Commissions of Inquiry Act, 1952 to lay the report of the Commission on the Inquiry together with a memorandum of the action taken thereon, before each House of Parliament within six months of submission of the report by the Commission to the government, it said.”The said report has since been laid in both the Houses of Parliament on December 15, 2016. Therefore, it is a public document and anyone applying now under RTI Act can be provided with a copy of the same,” the HRD ministry said.

HRD Ministry rejects RTI plea for sharing report on Rohith Vemula’s death

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Human Resource Development Ministry has rejected an RTI appeal for making public a panel’s report on the death of research scholar Rohith Vemula in University of Hyderabad.Replying to an RTI query, the ministry had said that the file concerned was “under submission” and a copy of the report cannot be provided.Aggrieved at the response, an appeal was filed with the First Appellate Authority of the ministry.”As such I do not find any infirmity with the reply of the Central Public Information Officer (given earlier) and your appeal stands disposed of as far as the answering Appellate Authority is concerned,” the HRD Ministry said in reply to the appeal filed by PTI.The HRD Ministry had in February last year appointed a Commission of Inquiry under Justice (retired) Ashok Kumar Roopanwal to look into the events at University of Hyderabad, culminating in the suicide by Vemula.It was also tasked with reviewing the existing grievance redressal mechanism for students at the university and to suggest improvements. The Commission was asked to submit its report within three months of its formation.After the panel submitted its report to the Ministry, media reports had claimed that the Commission had raised questions on Vemula’s Dalit status and attributed his suicide to personal reasons.The university authorities too have been absolved of any blame for Vemula’s death as the Commission held that they were not working under political pressure, the reports said.Vemula’s suicide in January 2016 had triggered a huge political furore with the then HRD Minister Smriti Irani coming under attack, along with Union Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya who had written a letter to the former related to the matter.”If you are not satisfied with this reply, you may like to prefer second appeal before Central Information Commission,” the Appellate Authority said.

Governments desperate to declare Rohith as OBC, says mother Radhika Vemula

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On the first death anniversary of Dalit research scholar Rohith Vemula on Tuesday, his mother Radhika Vemula alleged that governments were desperate to declare him as OBC.”Governments are desperate to declare Rohit as Other Backward Class (OBC). After my son’s demise…they are now behind me. They want to declare my son as OBC. I know what humiliation I have undergone being Dalit in the society,” she alleged.Radhika was addressing a group of students as part of the ‘Shahadat Din’ organised at the main entrance gate of University of Hyderabad (UoH) here. Rohith was found hanging in a hostel room on UoH campus.Radhika questioned why there was a delay in arresting the accused, including UoH Vice Chancellor Appa Rao Podile, Union Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya and others, who have been booked under SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and for abetment of Rohith’s suicide.A section of students under the aegis of Joint Action Committee for Social Justice – UOH had said that they would gather at the ‘Rohit Stupa’ on the varsity campus to remember his legacy and to vow that the fight will go on against “casteism and communalism”. However, nobody was allowed inside the campus.Earlier in the day, police took 19 protesters, including three UoH students, into preventive custody for trying to gatecrash the university. They were later let off.Addressing the group, Rohith’s brother Raja Vemula alleged, “During inquiry at the Guntur Collector office (with regard to the caste status of Rohith) they insulted my mother by questioning her character. She was also questioned how she raised her kids.””Whoever is raising his voice in the country is being labelled as ‘anti-national’,” he alleged, adding, “Unless we get justice, we will continue to fight till our death.” Radhika later requested the UoH security personnel to allow her to at least visit the ‘Rohith Stupa’ on the campus, but was denied permission. She, along with Raja and others, was also taken away by police.Raising questions on Rohith Vemula’s Dalit status, a commission constituted by the HRD ministry after the scholar’s death, had said that the material on record did not establish the caste of the deceased and attributed his suicide to personal reasons.However, National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) Chairman P L Punia had rejected the judicial commission’s report on Vemula’s suicide as “fake and fictitious”, and said the deceased research scholar was a Dalit.

Rohith Vemula anniversary: Police whisk away protesters trying to gatecrash University of Hyderabad

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A group of protesters on Tuesday tried to gatecrash into the University of Hyderabad (UoH) to take part in a meet organised in memory of Rohit Vemula on his first death anniversary but were whisked away by police.The protesters comprising a number of students’ organisations had assembled in front of the UoH main gate as part of “Shahadat Din” of Vemula, who was found hanging in a hostel room on the varsity campus on January 17 last year.A section of students under the aegis of Joint Action Committee for Social Justice – UOH said they would gather at the ‘Rohit Stupa’ to remember his legacy and to vow that fight will go on against “casteism and communalism”.The protesters marched towards the main entrance gate of UoH, raised slogans against UoH Vice-Chancellor Apparao Podile and sought immediate his arrest.Holding placards reading “Justice for Rohit Vemula”, the protesters marched towards the main gate and tried to forcibly enter by removing the barricade placed in front of the main gate.Police immediately took them away in a vehicle even as JAC members assembled near the main gate after coming from inside the campus.Vemula’s suicide had sparked massive protests nationwide, resulting in a fierce political slugfest, with a string of political parties and Dalit organisations siding with students and accusing the BJP and varsity administration of being anti- Dalit. Also, it had triggered a huge political furore with the then HRD Minister Smriti Irani coming under attack along with Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya for having written a letter related to the matter.Raising questions on Rohit Vemula’s Dalit status, a commission constituted by the HRD ministry after the scholar’s death had said the material on record did not establish it and attributed his suicide to personal reasons. However, National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) Chairman P L Punia had rejected the judicial commission’s report on Vemula’s suicide as fake and fictitious, and said the deceased research scholar was a Dalit.

Vemula’s death anniversary: UoH students plan programs for ‘Shahadat Din’ sans permit

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With a group of students from University of Hyderabad (UoH) planning to assemble here and hold a series of programmes tomorrow to observe ‘Shahadat Din’ on the first death anniversary of research scholar Rohit Vemula, the varsity authorities today said they have not sought any permission in this regard.To mark one year of suicide of Vemula, who was found hanging in a hostel room on the varsity campus on January 17 last year, a section of students under the aegis of Joint Action Committee for Social Justice – UOH said they would gather at the ‘Rohit Stupa’ to remember his legacy and to vow that fight will go on against casteism and communalism. “Through newspapers we have come to know about ‘Shahadat Din’ programme. They (JAC) have not sought any permission from University officials,” UoH Pro Vice-Chancellor Prof Vipin Srivastava said adding “if they go ahead with their programmes it will be unofficial.”Asked if permission is sought and if they will be allowed to hold the programmes, Srivastava said “that has to be seen…it will be a collective decision.”The mass gathering, to be organised tomorrow on the varsity campus, is slated to be attended by Rohit’s mother Radhika Vemula, family of Najeeb Ahmed, the JNU student who has gone missing, Jaan Mohammed, brother of Mohammad Akhlaq who was allegedly lynched in September 2015 on suspicion that his family stored and ate beef at their house, a few Dalits who were allegedly thrashed by ‘cow vigilantes’ at Una in Gujarat last year.The JAC members, who are planning a series of programmes under the banner of ‘Justice for Rohit Vemula’ said Vemula’s portraits in all hostels will be garlanded and a remembrance rally will also be held tomorrow.University authorities, had last year, issued a notification banning entry of outsiders, political parties, media and social/student groups. JAC for Social Justice at UoH, also known as Hyderabad Central University, had spearheaded protests over the scholar’s death following Vemula’s death on January 17 last year. The section of students under JAC had demanded removal of Appa Rao Podile from the Vice Chancellor’s post and had also sought his arrest. Vemula’s suicide had sparked massive nationwide protests, resulting in a fierce political slugfest, with a string of political parties and Dalit organisations siding with students and accusing the BJP and varsity administration of being anti-Dalit.

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