A one-man judicial commission that was set up by the Ministry of Human Resource Development to probe the events around Rohith Vemula's death in January this year has alleged that it was Vemula's "personal frustrations", and not Dalit discrimination, that led him to commit suicide. According to the probe, conducted by former Allahabad High Court judge A K Roopanwal, Vemula's mother V Radhika "branded" herself as Mala (a scheduled caste community) and her elder son's Dalit birth certificate was issued without proof.
The commission's 41-page-report, obtained by The Indian Express, also claimed that expelling the 26-year-old student from the university hostel was a "reasonable" decision.
Roopanwal, who was hired by the HRD ministry, has also given a clean chit to former HRD minister Smriti Irani's alleged interference following the incident. Roopanwal claimed that Irani and union minister Bandaru Dattatreya were only discharging their duties as public servants.
Interestingly, according to the report, Roopanwal only interviewed five university students and members of the group that led the agitation in campus, of which Vemula was a part. By contrast, he interviewed about 50 other university teachers, officials and staff members, reported Express.
Roopanwal also exonerated the university administration and government from Vemula's death, alleging that the student was responsible for his own suicide.
He has also alleged in his findings that Radhika managed to get a Dalit certificate from a corporator named Uppalapati Danamma without citing any proof. Instead, she belonged to the Vaddera community, which is categorised as a backward class, Roopanwal claimed. This meant Vemula's Dalit certificate was inaccurate, he alleged.
Rohith Vemula had committed suicide on 17 January, 2016, after he alleged that he was discriminated against because he was Dalit and was suspended from the university hostel.
Read the full Indian Express report here.
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