JOINT ACTION COMMITTEE FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE (UoH)
The Chairperson, National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) declared that Rohith Vemula, a PhD student who committed suicide in University of Hyderabad is a Dalit.
NCSC directed that any person who is born to either a SC mother or a SC father and who has also been brought up in a Dalit community/locality is to be declared a person belonging to SC category. NCSC said that this is final clarification on Rohith Vemula’s caste and doesn’t require any further enquiry.
Rohith Vemula’s maternal grandmother has submitted her statement to Guntur District authorities before her death stating that Rohith Vemula’s mother Radhilca Vemula is a Dalit. The same was recorded by Guntur District Collector. After verifying all the facts. NCSC has confirmed that Rohith Vemula is a Dalit.
After Rohith Vemula’s suicide case came up in news headlines, NCSC took suo motu and investigated the MHRD authorities, the University authorities, Telangana Police, Rohith Vemula’s family and Guntur District Collector. NCSC’s report findings state that Rohith Vemula went into depression and killed himself because he faced caste discrimination from the University authorities. NCSC also noted that Rohith Vemula stated the same in his suicide note.
NCSC further said that even with regard to Rohith Vemula’s hostel accommodation and fellowship, Rohith Vemula was discriminated by the University administration which eventually led to his suicide. NCSC noted that Rohith Vemula wrote a letter to Vice-Chancellor on 18. December, 2015 stating the caste discrimination.
NCSC opined that a special (new) act is a must against the discrimination faced by students not limiting itself to just University of Hyderabad but across all educational institutes all over the country. NCSC also directed Cybenthad Police to take action on the police case booked under SC/ST PoA act in the light of Rohith Vemula’s suicide.
According to the legal provisions under SC/ST PoA act, Andhra Pradesh State Government must compensate Rohith Vemula’s family with snout of Rs. 4,12,500 and, after the charge sheet is filed with another sum of Rs. 4,12,500. NCSC stated that as Rohith Vemula’s fatnily falls under Below Poverty Line (BPL), his brother should be provided with a job. NCSC also directed the Guntur District authorities to provide Rohith Vemula’s mother with housing and and financial aid.