Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Telangana Police closes Rohith Vemula case file, absolves UoH VC, BJP leaders

On Friday, the Gachibowli police, which was investigating the death of University of Hyderabad scholar Rohith Vemula, filed a closure report in the matter, absolving the then vice-chancellor of UoH Prof Appa Rao and other Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders.

The death of Rohit Vemula in 2016 sparked a nationwide protest demanding protection for students from marginal groups in India’s academic space. Calling it an “institutional murder”, Bahujan groups demanded action against the university administration.

According to the final finding of the police, Rohith took his life in fear of his real caste being revealed as he did not belong to the Scheduled Caste category.

Police report absolved the then Secunderabad MP Bandaru Dattatreya, Member of Legislative Council N Ramachander Rao, Vice Chancellor Appa Rao, ABVP leaders and Minister for Women and Child Development Smriti Irani.

According to the report, Rohith took his life as “he had his own problems and was not happy with worldly affairs”.

The closure report also notes that the Investigating Officer (IO) while questioning Rohith’s mother Radhika Vemula asked her if she was willing to undergo a DNA test to determine her caste location, The News Minute reported. Radhika Vemula has always maintained that she is an SC (Mala) by caste.

The development has provoked criticism against Congress, who came into power in Telangana four months ago. Congress has promised to enact the “Rohit Vemula Act” if they are voted to power in Lok Sabha.

Responding to the report, Ambedkar International Center said the report was a “character assassination of Rohit Vemula”.

“A brilliant student who cleared the entrance in first attempt, the only student to do so, victim of the system, but instead of getting justice, this is what the system does. The caste doesn’t leave one even after death.”

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