Rohith’s father seeks judicial probe into his death

Says SC certificate was obtained by maternal grandmother through false evidence; appeals to politicians not to instigate caste politics in universities

Updated - December 04, 2021 11:00 pm IST

Published - January 27, 2016 12:05 am IST - VIJAYAWADA:

A student protesting against the suicide of Rohith Vemula on the University of Hyderabad campus on Tuesday.—PHOTO. K.V.S. GIRI

A student protesting against the suicide of Rohith Vemula on the University of Hyderabad campus on Tuesday.—PHOTO. K.V.S. GIRI

Vemula Naga Mani Kumar, father of the University of Hyderabad research scholar Rohith Vemula who committed suicide, demanded on Tuesday that the government order an inquiry by a sitting judge into his death.

Contrary to the claims that caste discrimination was behind the suicide, Mr. Mani Kumar told a press conference here that there was a bigger issue that needed to be probed. He faulted political leaders, who visited the university campus, for trying to politicise an issue which concerned the functioning of universities, not just caste.

“We belong to the Vaddera community of the Backward Classes and the Scheduled Caste certificate released to the media was obtained by his [Rohith’s] maternal grandmother through false evidence. I was kept in the dark, and my wife is ignorant,” he said.

Appealing to different sections, especially politicians, not to instigate caste politics in universities, Mr. Mani Kumar said: “Why did not politicians visit the campus when my son was sitting on strike? Everyone turns up only after his death. Universities should not become centres for caste politics.”

He said his son was a merit student and mentally strong and would not have committed suicide. “Had it been the case of a caste-related death, why did not the other four, who also hailed from the downtrodden communities, take the extreme step?” Mr. Mani Kumar said he married Vemula Radhika, mother of Rohith, after her parents assured him that she was from the same community. He raised doubts about the veracity of the suicide note. “There is a lot of suspicion. I want the government to find out whether it was a murder or a suicide. If it was indeed a suicide, steps should be taken to find out the reasons. I want justice,” he said.

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