HYDERABAD: The Officers Forum of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh and Centre for Dalit Studies on Wednesday demanded that there should not be any rectifications or revisions to the recently released Justice AK Roopanwal report inquiring into the death of UOH Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula.
It said that a fresh inquiry should be conducted. They further said that all political parties should reject the report and should not allow it to be discussed in the Parliament until a new committee is constituted.
The members who studied the report alleged that the commission deviated from the terms of reference —to inquire into the reasons for Rohith’s death and formulate measures to prevent more such incidents from occurring.
While the report concluded that there was no action required to be taken as there is no evidence of any fact or circumstance available on record and hence no one is responsible for Rohith’s death, members of the forum pointed that Vemula’s suicide note is proof enough for the caste-based discrimination prevalent in the university. Chukka Ramaiah, an educationist, reiterated that Vemula’s death was indeed institutional. “His suicide exposes the caste discrimination prevalent in universities and the Roopanwal report is to protect Appa Rao Podile, vice chancellor of the University of Hyderabad,” he said.
The report also declared that Vemula was not an SC, but a Vaddera, who falls in the Other Backward Classes category based on the version of revenue officers who recorded the statements of Vemula’s paternal family members’ who denied that he was an SC. The members alleged that the Roopanwal Committee put aside the statement of Vemula’s grandfather stating that Radhika Vemula, Rohith’s mother’s caste entered as Vaddera was a clerical error. The committee also set aside the dying declaration of Radhika’s adoptive mother who said that Radhika was an SC.
The fact finding committee set up by the Ministry of Human Resource Development stated that there were a number of gaps in several processes in the inquiry against Vemula and the other students who were suspended. This aspect too was ignored, stated the members.