Rohith Vemula Was Not A Dalit, Says The one-man judicial Commission Set Up By HRD Ministry :- Earlier, The Ministry of Human Resources Development set up one man judicial commission to probe the circumstances leading to the suicide of Rohith Vemula at the Hyderabad Central University in January 2016. The commission has claimed that Rohith Vemula 26-year-old scholar did not belong to the Scheduled Caste community. Therefore, he was not a Dalit.
As per the report of The Indian Express, A K Roopanwal who is the former Allahabad High Court judge has submitted his report to the University Grants Commission in the first week of August, in which he made these observations.
Former HRD minister Smriti Irani appointed former judge A KRoopanwal. The report of the former HC judge gives assurance to the claims of Union Ministers Thawar Chand Gehlot and Sushma Swaraj. The Union ministers had questioned the caste identity of the student. Earlier, Union minister Gehlot and Sushma had both claimed that Vemula was from the Vaddera community. This is a caste which falls under the Other Backward Classes category not the SC category.
Moreover, the vice-chancellor Appa Rao and Union Minister Bandaru Dattatreya were named in an FIR lodged by the police under the SC/ST Atrocities (Prevention) Act for abetting his suicide.
As per the report of The Indian Express says that former High court judge A K Roopanwal refused to confirm or deny to the media that Vemula was not a Dalit.
New HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar said he had not seen the report which is submitted by the former judge and would have to check the report before commenting on this matter.
However, the brother of Rohith Vemula, Raja rejected the observation of the judicial commission. He stated that the family lived like Dalits. He claimed that the family had been discriminated against all their lives.
Incidentally, the report submitted by the Justice Roopanwal is at odds with the report submitted by Kantilal Dande who is the Guntur District Collector to the National Commission for Scheduled Castes. In the report of Kantilal Dande, he said that Rohith Vemula was a Dalit.
The chairman of NCSC PL Punia backed Dande, and said that there was no need for a new commission. Punia blamed the BJP for its anti-Dalit mentality claiming the party wanted to protect its ministers at any costs.
In November 2015, the executive council of university had expelled five students from the hostel and barred their access to public places on campus, for allegedly assaulting an ABVP leader. The controversy hit the country when Vemula committed suicide in a hostel room on 17th January 2016.
Later, several members of family of Rohith Vemula had converted from Hinduism to Buddhism.