Hyderabad: The Joint Action Committee for Social Justice, an umbrella body of students’ groups at University of Hyderabad, has condemned the report by a one-man judicial commission that research scholar Rohith Vemula, who committed suicide early this year, was not a Dalit.
The JAC alleged that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) influenced the panel to save central ministers Smriti Irani and Bandaru Dattatreya.
It was reacting to media reports that the commission in its report declared Rohith as non-Dalit and also exonerated Vice-Chancellor Podile Apparao.
The Ministry of Human Resources Development on January 28 had appointed former judge of the Allahabad High Court A. K. Roopanwal to investigate the circumstances that led to Rohith’s suicide.
The JAC termed the report the political manoeuvring by BJP to deny Justice for Rohith and four other Dalit Research Scholars who were harassed, discriminated and socially boycotted by the vice chancellor to show his allegiance to Irani and Dattatreya.
The JAC said the panel’s conclusion that Rohith was not a Dalit was shocking as district magistrate of Guntur had declared Athat he belonged to Mala, a scheduled caste. It claimed that the commission exceeded its mandate.
The commission did not permit Dalit research scholars to present their version of the incidents that led to their harassment on the ground that the mandate of the commission is only to inquire into Rohith’s suicide.
The JAC pointed out that National Commission for Scheduled Castes had approved the report of the Guntur district magistrate on the caste confirmation of Rohith and directed the police to proceed under the SC/ST Atrocities Act.