‘My name is Rohit … I am Dalit’

  • Mobile video proof

Hyderabad: “My name is Rohit Vemula…I am a Dalit from Guntur district” said the Ph D scholar in a video that his friends had retrieved from their mobiles that were just handed over by the police after keeping them all the while since the suicide of the scholar.

“I am son of a daily wage labourer and my mother has raised us. I joined the university as general category student. Our spat with ABVP is not new. Recently the university had taken the decision to suspend five Dalit students and they have expelled us from hostel premises and they have said that the notice we serve says that our presence in public places, hostel premises and administrative building can be treated as criminal acts” said Rohit.  Rohit’s friends said they had recorded the video before Rohit Vemula, 26, hanged himself in his hostel room at the Hyderabad Central University in January this year.

The video was released as an answer to the report of a one-man commission headed by Justice Roopanwal set up by Union Human Resource Ministry. The commission in its report concluded that Rohit was not a Dalit and his suicide has nothing to do with the university or the Ministry of Human Resources.

It may be recalled that Rohit had committed suicide after he and four of his friends were thrown out of the hostel by the university authorities. He complained about the caste discrimination in a letter to Vice Chancellor Appa Rao written one month before killing himself. The research scholar also commented that all Dalit students should be given ropes to hang themselves.

The Commission asserted that there was no evidence to prove that V Radhika is from Mala community with which Rohit identified himself. The Dalit students and faculty members say the action against Dalit students was taken only after they clashed with the BJP student wing ABVP.

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