Students of University of Hyderabad, on Thursday, burnt copies of the one-man judicial commission report that probed the suicide of Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula. The commission has absolved the university authorities and did not hold them responsible for the scholar’s suicide.
Retired judge AK Roopanwal, who headed the one-man judicial commission in the report states, “Vemula was a troubled individual and was unhappy for several reasons.”
Justice Roopanwal, who retired from the Allahabad High Court, also points out that Rohith Vemula was not a Dalit. The judicial probe was set up by the Human Resource Development ministry after the suicide of Vemula had attracted a lot of controversy over the circumstances for the scholar having committed suicide in January 2016.
Protesting students of the university have accused the commission of submitting an “illegal, mischievous and politically motivated report.” They also held a protest march on the university campus on Thursday evening.
“By investigating the caste of the dead scholar Vemula, the commission had gone beyond its terms of reference. The report, suited to ABVP and BJPs agenda, goes against all the evidence available before the commission, said Dontha Prashanth, leader of Ambedkar Student’s Association at the university.
Professor K Lakshminarayana, a faculty member at the university of Hyderabad while addressing the protesting students said, “the commission was given the primary responsibility of investing the circumstances that led to the death of the scholar last year, but it has failed to carry out the task.
The professor also pointed out that it was legally prohibited in Andhra Pradesh to ascertain someone’s caste and Justice Roopanwala by going into it was illegal and unethical.
Rohith Vemula, a PhD scholar and author of the book ‘Caste Is Not A Rumor’, had hanged himself in his hostel room on January 17, 2016. His death had led to protests among the students community over allegations that the scholar had taken the extreme step after the varsity had allegedly taken disciplinary action against him.