Rohit Vemula protest in Hyderabad
60 detained in Chennai for demanding resignation of Smriti Irani and Bandaru Dattatreya. Picture: Protesters holding slogans in solidarity with the deceased. [Representational Image]

Update: 1.45 PM IST: An FIR has been filed against Union Minister for Labour and Employment Bandaru Dattatreya and the vice-chancellor of University of Hyderabad under the SC/ST Act in connection to Rohit Vemula suicide case, reported NDTV.

Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Smriti Irani has sent a two-member team to probe the expelled Dalit scholar's death.

Protests were staged in the university following discovery of Vemula's body. The protests intensified after while the police arrested eight students and took away the body for post-mortem. 

Dattatreya had, in an August 2015 letter to Irani, to "buttress" his point, said that some Dalit scholars beat up a Akhil Bhartiya Vidya Parishad (ABVP) leader when he tried to stop them from protesting Yakub Memon's hanging. The students have alleged that the letter led to "discriminatory" behaviour with the Dalit students, reports NDTV

ANI, however, quoted the minister as saying, "My letter had nothing to do with the student who committed suicide in Central University (Hyderabad)."

The administration had conducted an investigation into the incident that had occurred in August, but was unable to draw links to the ABVP leader's hospitalisation and the beating.

"The board could not get any hard evidence of beating of Mr. Susheel kumar either from Mr Krishna Chaitanya or from the reports submitted by Dr. Anupama. Dr. Anupama's reports also could not link or suggest that the surgery of the Susheel Kumar is the direct result of the beating," India Resists the Proctor's report as mentioning.  

Original Story: A bandh has been called after an expelled PhD scholar of the University of Hyderabad committed suicide on Sunday, 17 January.

Rohit Vemula, 25, had been expelled along with four other students for attacking an ABVP leader last year. The five scholars had been sleeping in a tent outside the university gates and were demanding that they be reinstated. The students had been barred from entering any of the university buildings after their expulsion. However, on Sunday, Rohit, who was pursuing a PhD in science technology and society studies for the last two years, found a way to enter the NRS hostel, where he committed suicide.

"V Rohit was found hanging in the hostel room. He was among the five research scholars who were suspended by Hyderabad Central University (HCU) in August last year and also one of the accused in the case of assault on a student leader," Hyberabad Police Commissioner CV Anand told Press Trust of India.

S Munna, co-convenor of Ambedkar Students Association (ASA) in the university, has blamed the untimely death of the ex-scholar on the administrations' ignorance of Dalit students' issues.

"It is due to the administration's ignorance towards students' issues which forced Rohith to take such a step. We hope at least now the administration wakes up to dalit issues and takes revokes its decision," TOI quoted Munna as saying.

The Dalit scholar was one of the leaders of the ASA and was vocal about issues faced by Dalits.

"I am shocked over the extreme step taken by the scholar. I did speak to the scholars a few days back on this issue. However, I had no clue that he will take such a step," the university's Vice-Chancellor (VC), Appa Rao Podile, told The Times of India.

Demonstrations were held at the University of Hyderabad after Rohit's body was found on Sunday, while a protest in Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in Delhi was also staged to show solidarity with the deceased.

The protesters in JNU have demanded the case be handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation as the death could have been a result of political revenge. They have also asked that a murder case be registered against the VC, reported India Today