Rohith Vemula was not Dalit : Guntur collector

Rohith Vemula, the research scholar of University of Hyderabad whose suicide in January 2016 triggered a nationwide uproar, was not a Dalit. According to media reports, the District Level Scrutiny Committee in Andhra Pradesh’s Guntur, which was reviewing Dalit status of the research sholar, has concluded in its final report submitted to the government that neither Rohith Vemula nor his mother Radhika were Dalits.

The panel also recommended that the Scheduled Caste certificate obtained by the family through ”fraudulent means” should also be cancelled. In view of the panel’s report, the Andhra Pradesh government is most likely to declare that Rohith Vemula was not a Dalit and may cancel the Scheduled Caste certificate obtained by his family.

The state government has, meanwhile, 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. If she still claims that she is a Dalit, she would be required to furnish valid documents to that effect within two weeks. Radhika’s other son, Raja Vemula, has confirmed that she had received the notice from the Guntur administration.

The University administration led by Vice Chancellor Appa Rao Podile, along with central BJP-led government, was accused of being anti-Dalit and discriminatory which led Rohith to take the ultimate step. The Cyberabad police had registered cases against the Vice Chancellor, Union Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya, and others under SC/ST Act. The Cyberabad police had been awaiting for the final report from Guntur Collector on Rohith’s caste status to finalise investigation in the case.

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