Guntur collector’s report says Rohith Vemula not Dalit; family to go to court

The debate about the caste of research scholar Rohith Vemula, who committed suicide in 2016, seems to have taken a new direction.

Published: 15th February 2017 05:32 AM  |   Last Updated: 15th February 2017 05:32 AM   |  A+A-

File photo of Radhika and Raja Vemula

By Express News Service

GUNTUR/VIJAYAWADA/HYDERABAD: The debate about the caste of research scholar Rohith Vemula, who committed suicide in 2016, seems to have taken a new direction with the Guntur collector filing a review report on Tuesday stating that Rohith was not Dalit.

The report states that Rohith’s caste certificate was obtained by fraudulent means. A notice has been served to the Vemula family, seeking a response within 15 days as to why SC certificates of Radhika Vemula, her daughter Demimoor Neelima and sons Rohith and Raja should not be cancelled.

Radhika’s husband Manikumar belongs to the OBC Vaddera community. However, Radhika was separated from him and has stated that she was born into a Scheduled Caste community and has been living in an SC colony since being separated and this made her a Dalit under the law.

The District Level Scrutiny Committee submitted its final report stating that neither Rohith nor his mother Radhika were Dalits and instead belonged to the Vaddera community. The committee has, hence, recommended cancellation of the certificate issued to the Vemula family.

Rohith’s younger brother Raja Vemula told Express that revenue officers served notice on February 11 and that the family would respond legally.

“We will fight it out in the court. This is only an attempt to safeguard the MPs who are involved in this institutional murder. We will be reaching Hyderabad in the next two or three days and will take the matter forward legally,” said Raja. He added that his father Manikumar’s allegation that he belonged to the Vaddera community had led to the commission’s reprobe.

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