Rohith Vemula and mother Radhika are OBCs, not Dalits, says Andhra Pradesh government

The Andhra Pradesh government has declared Rohith Vemula, the research scholar of University of Hyderabad whose suicide in January 2016 triggered a nationwide uproar, as belonging to the Other Backward Classes (OBC) and not a Dalit.

The District Level Scrutiny Committee in Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh, which was reviewing the Dalit status of Rohith Vemula, submitted its final report to the government stating that neither Rohith nor his mother Radhika were Dalits, reports News18.

File image of Rohith Vemula. @akslal/ Twitter

File image of Rohith Vemula. Twitter @akslal

The government has also decided to cancel the SC certificate “fraudulently” obtained by the duo, reports Hindustan Times. The government also served a show cause notice on Radhika as to why she cannot be declared as belonging to the Vaddera community, which falls under the OBC category.

Earlier on 17 January, his first death anniversary, his mother alleged that governments were desperate to declare him an 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.

Addressing the group, Rohith's brother Raja 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."

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 PL 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.

With inputs from agencies


Published Date: Feb 14, 2017 03:59 pm | Updated Date: Feb 14, 2017 03:59 pm

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