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Commission questions Rohith Vemula's Dalit status, gives clean chit to Dattatreya, Irani

News Agencies | Updated on: 10 February 2017, 1:46 IST

On 6 October, a Commission that had been constituted by the HRD Ministry to look into the details of the circumstances leading to the death of Hyderabad University Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula said that the facts available on record do not establish that his suicide was prompted by discrimination, and attributed it to personal reasons.

The Justice Roopanwal Commission, in its report to the HRD ministry, has given a clean chit to Union Ministers Smriti Irani and Bandaru Dattatreya, sources said.

The University authorities, too, have been absolved of any blame for Vemula's death as the Commission has held that they were not working under political pressure.

The Commission is learnt to have raised questions about Vemula's caste status as a Dalit saying that there is no proof that his mother V Radhika belonged to 'Mala' community.

The Commission is learnt to have said that Vemula's mother could have given the statement that she belonged to the 'Mala' community to support the caste certificate which was issued to Vemula.

The Commission, in its report, noted that Vemula's mother was not told the names of her biological parents by her foster family, according to the sources.

It is, therefore, unlikely that she would have been told the caste of her biological parents, the Commission is understood to have said.

HRD ministry officials have, however, maintained that ascertaining the caste status of Vemula was not part of the Terms of Reference of the Commission. Therefore, they would only focus on those recommendations which aim at ensuring that such incidents do not happen in the future.


First published: 6 October 2016, 5:17 IST