YUNUS Y LASANIA
HYDERABAD, February 26, 2016
The University of Hyderabad (UoH) on Thursday refuted HRD Minister Smriti Irani’s statement in Parliament that medical personnel were denied access to research scholar Rohith Vemula in the immediate aftermath of his suicide on January 17. University officials said that a doctor had reached his hostel within minutes after learning of his suicide.
Lending weight to the denial is the medical report submitted by Rajashree P., who was the duty doctor at the varsity’s Health Centre on January 17. “Received a phone call at 7.30 p.m. on 17/1/16 from NRS Hostel reporting that student was found hanging from the ceiling fan in room 207. Rushed to spot along with staff nurse, ambulance driver. By that time, the body has been kept on cot.”
“I reached the hostel about five minutes after I received the call at 7.30 p.m.,” Dr. Rajashree told The Hindu. “Even the police, whom I informed, reached the spot by 8 p.m.” Her version is at complete variance with what Ms. Irani had said in Parliament a few days ago — that no doctor had gone near Rohith’s body until 6.30 a.m. the next day.
In fact, after the MHRD statement, a UoH student Zikrullah Nisha posted on Facebook that he was the one who called the Health Centre immediately after security guards noticed Rohith’s body hanging from the ceiling fan.