HYDERABAD -- ABVP leader Nandanam Susheel Kumar, who has been accused of abetting suicide of dalit research scholar Rohith Vemula, today demanded a "fair" inquiry and rejected claims that he had lied about being assaulted by Rohith and other members of Ambedkar Students' Association (ASA) at Hyderabad University.
"Reasons for Rohit Vemula's suicide should be thoroughly examined. When a person like Rohit Vemula could confront so many people like us (and) also there was hearing by the High Court in two days, what made him go into depression?" Kumar said.
"What were the faculty or the students around him doing? When a student got into depression these people could not identify that? They give us lectures on how to identify a person when he is under depression," he told reporters.
"Why did these people send Rohit to some other person's room without sending someone along with him? There are many issues in this. There should be a fair inquiry. And whoever is the culprit, let it be me or let it be anyone else, the culprit should be punished," he said.
On his claims that he was manhandled, the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) leader said he can produce records that he was admitted to hospital and underwent an operation.
"I don't know what Hyderabad police said. But I was admitted to hospital and you can see the injuries on my body, you can still see the operation marks on me. There may not be any external injuries, but there are enough certificates that say that I had to go for an operation," he said.
The university had in a statement in August said there was a fight involving students of the ASA and Susheel Kumar of ABVP which eventually reached the court.
Rohit, whose body was found hanging in a hostel room on last Sunday, was among the five research scholars who were suspended by university in August last year and also one of the accused in the case of alleged assault on the ABVP leader.
Replying to query, Kumar said political parties "coming on the university campus is common and not limited to BJP only."
"First thing Rohit Vemula's death...when he committed suicide even I felt depressed. I could not come out of my room for three days. I read that suicide note for 100 to 200 times in which he did not mention anyone's name that so and so person is responsible," he said.
"(Union Minister) Bandaru Dattatreya might have written a letter. AIMIM leaders also came on the campus. Every politician is involved in campus politics," Kumar said.
Replying to another query, Kumar said he did not have any personal issues with Rohit Vemula, but it was only an ideological difference.
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