Home News Rohith Vemula didn’t kill self over University action, says inquiry commission

Rohith Vemula didn’t kill self over University action, says inquiry commission

  • The report said Vemula was a troubled individual and was unhappy for several reasons
  • It also stated that Rohith Vemula was not a Dalit by caste
  • Vemula committed suicide on January 17, 2016

University of Hyderabad student Rohith Vemula committed suicide of his own volition and the varsity’s act of expelling him and four other students from the hostel did not become a trigger for him to end his life, an inquiry commission has said.

The report, that was made public on Tuesday, said Vemula was a troubled individual and was unhappy for several reasons. “His suicide note is on the record which shows that Rohith Vemula had his own problems and was not happy with worldly affairs,” the report said. “He was frustrated for the reasons best known to him…He also wrote that he was all alone from childhood and was an unappreciated man. This also indicates his frustration. He did not blame anybody for his suicide,” said the report of the one-man judicial commission under former Allahabad high court judge Justice A K Roopanwal, set up by the HRD ministry.

The report also did not find then HRD minister Smriti Irani and BJP leader Bandaru Dattareya responsible for the events. Vemula’s death had kicked up a controversy that the disciplinary action against him had been prompted by complaints by BJP leaders.

“If he would have been angry with the decision of the university, certainly either he would have written in specific words or would have indicated in this regard. But he did not do the same. It shows that the circumstances prevailing in the university at that time were not the reasons for committing the suicide,” it the report said.

The report also states that Vemula was not a Dalit by caste. The case gained prominence as a “Dalit” issue as protests, mainly organised by Left groups, said that Vemula was a victim of oppression unleashed by the university and BJP leaders.

The report, however, said the university does not have a proper mechanism for redressal of the grievances of students in general and those from the reserved categories in particular. Regarding the disciplinary action taken in the case of Vemula, a research scholar, Justice Roopanwal’s report said: “In my opinion, the view taken by the Executive Council was the most reasonable one in the circumstances prevailing at that time. The Executive Council mainly focused that the students should keep concentration on their academic career and not on other things. The leniency shown by the Executive Council itself shows that the university administration was not functioning under any influence or pressure, otherwise there could be no occasion to be lenient or to reduce the punishment recommended by the Proctorial Board.”

The report was submitted in August 2016 to the HRD ministry. The UoH’s Executive Council in November 2015, expelled five students, all said to be Dalits, from the hostel and barred them access to public places on campus. They were, however, allowed to attend lectures and pursue research. They were punished for allegedly assaulting an ABVP student leader. Vemula committed suicide in a hostel room on January 17, 2016.

The MHRD set up the one-man judicial commission under Justice Roopanwal on February 2, 2016, to probe the circumstances leading to Vemula’s suicide. The report states that Ramachandra Rao, local MLC, Bandaru Dattatreya, minister for labour and employment, and Irani, “were discharging their duties as public servants” and did not influence the university authorities.

Courtesy: Times of India


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