Dalit groups see ‘conspiracy’ in suspension of SC status for Rohith

Dara Gopi

Amaravati: The District Level Screening Committee (DLSC) of Guntur district had suspended the SC status granted earlier to the University of Hyderabad scholar Rohith Vemula, who had committed suicide a year ago due to harassment by fellow students on the basis of caste. The DLSC, headed by the district Joint Collector, had submitted its report to the District Collector Kantilal Dande who had ratified the recommendations. The Collector had also issued directions declaring that the family of Rohith Vemula as BC-A, Vaddera community.

The DLSC recommendations and the subsequent declaration of the district Collector have irked the Dalit organistions that have been fighting for justice to Rohith Vemula’s family. The family and the Dalit groups have filed cases against the HCU Vice-Chancellor Prof. Appa Rao, Union Minister Bandaru Dattatreya and others under the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act 1989.

The organizations have been fighting for justice to Rohith’s family and punishment to the accused, including the Vice-Chancellor. However, the government had honoured the Vice-Chancellor ignoring his role in the suicidal death of Rohith on the campus. In addition, the latest decision of the Guntur district administration declaring that Rohith was not a Dalit hurt the Dalit groups’ feelings.

“It is unjust on the part of the government and the Guntur district administration. While the castiest professors and students of HCU have prompted the death of Rohith, the Guntur district administration had permanently sealed the future of Rohith’s family,” asserted Dalit Bahujan Front general secretary Melam Bhagya Rao. The leaders took strong exception to the decision of the Guntur district administration and said that it all was part of the conspiracy against the Dalits to enter into the institutions of higher education and claim for their rights.

“The Dalits are being suppressed and oppressed. Wherever they fight for their rights, the ruling classes have been suppressing the agitations,” regretted Bhagya Rao.

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