‘Rohith Vemula Was Not A Dalit’: Telangana Police Closes HCU Student Suicide Case, Absolves BJP Leaders, Former VC

‘Rohith Vemula Was Not A Dalit’: Telangana Police Closes HCU Student Suicide Case, Absolves BJP Leaders, Former VC

Hyderabad University student Rohith Vemula's suicide in January 2016 led to protests nationwide against discrimination towards Dalits in universities.

Rahul MUpdated: Friday, May 03, 2024, 03:50 PM IST
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A dated photo of students protesting the death of Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula at Hyderabad Central University. | PTI

The Telangana Police has filed a closure report into the death of Rohith Vemula, stating that he wasn't a Dalit and died by suicide because he feared his "real caste identity" would be revealed.

Rohith's brother, Raja Vemula, in a statement to the media, called this claim "absurd" and said, "I don't know how to express my feelings."

Hyderabad University student Rohith Vemula's suicide in January 2016 led to protests nationwide against discrimination towards Dalits in universities.

In a report submitted to the Telangana High Court, the police said Rohith wasn't a Dalit and feared his true caste would be exposed. The police also cleared those accused in the case, including former Secunderabad MP Bandaru Dattatreya, MLC N. Ramchander Rao, University of Hyderabad Vice Chancellor Appa Rao, Union Minister Smriti Irani, and leaders of the ABVP.

The police alleged that the Vemula family's caste certificates were forged and closed the case due to lack of evidence. The High Court directed the Vemula family to appeal to the lower court.

Raja Vemula said the family plans to meet Chief Minister Revanth Reddy on 4 May. He criticised the police for stopping the investigation in 2017 and ignoring statements from 15 witnesses on the caste verification issue.

According to senior advocate A. Satya Prasad, only the district collector can decide on caste status, not the police. The police report was criticised for rushing and focusing on Rohith's caste instead of investigating the reasons for his suicide.

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