Terming the suicide by a dalit student of Hyderabad University as "unfortunate", Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on Tuesday came to the defence of his ministerial colleague Bandaru Dattatreya saying he was "innocent" and that the central government "is with him".

"The Union Minister is innocent… The central government is with him," Union Minister of State for Minority Affairs and Parliamentary Affairs Naqvi told reporters here.

Naqvi said efforts should be made to offer help to the family of the student but what was being done by the opposition parties was completely the opposite.

"Congress yuvraj Rahul Gandhi rushes there as soon as the incident takes place to rub salt and this is not right," he said, adding all these were guided by "political ill will".

The HRD Ministry has ordered an inquiry and an FIR has been lodged, Naqvi added.

Union Labour Minister Dattatreya and Hyderabad University Vice Chancellor Appa Rao and three others were yesterday named in an FIR lodged with the Cyberabad police over the alleged suicide of the dalit student.

Twenty-six-year-old Vemula Rohit, a PhD scholar, was found hanging at the Central University’s hostel room on the campus on Sunday.

To a question on Subramanian Swamy and other BJP leaders’ statements on the Ram temple issue, Naqvi said that in a democracy, everyone has the right to speak. "But the country is run as per the Constitution and law, and people will accept whatever the court decides… As far as the government is concerned, it is moving ahead in the direction of building the temple of nation," Naqvi said.

To a question on sugarcane prices, he said that the state government was working irresponsibly while the Centre was extending all help to farmers.

In the wake of the terror attack on the Air Force base in Pathankot, he said, all those posing a threat to the national security will not be spared.