Hyderabad

Student bodies shocked over police closure report in Rohith Vemula case

A group of 12 student organisations on Friday expressed shock over the closure report filed by Telangana Police in University of Hyderabad research scholar Rohith Vemula's suicide case, absolving university authorities and leaders of the BJP and the ABVP.

Hyderabad: A group of 12 student organisations on Friday expressed shock over the closure report filed by Telangana Police in University of Hyderabad research scholar Rohith Vemula’s suicide case, absolving university authorities and leaders of the BJP and the ABVP.

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The student groups, which were part of the Joint Action Committee that spearheaded the movement for justice for Rohith Vemula, termed the report an “exact reiteration of BJP-ABVP narrative around Rohith’s ‘institutional murder'”.

Claiming the report has “inaccuracies, falsehoods and on purpose omissions”, they said it made a mockery of the eight-year struggle for justice.

In a joint statement, they said they were shocked that the report absolved then Vice Chancellor P. Appa Rao, BJP leaders and then Union Ministers Bandaru Dattatreya, and Smriti Irani and ABVP leader Sushil Kumar of any responsibility, while the “catastrophic miscarriage of justice meted out under the newly elected Congress government in Telangana is a source of greater distress”.

They recalled that the Congress leadership, including President Mallikarjun Kharge and former chief Rahul Gandhi, had consistently voiced their support for justice for the Vemula movement from its initial days, and enactment of the Rohith Act against institutional discrimination in higher education institutes is a central plan of the Congress manifesto for the ongoing parliamentary elections.

They noted that Vemula’s mother Radhika Vemula joined Bharat Jodo Yatra hoping that a change in government could further the prospects of justice for Dalits in India.

“The timing of the report being submitted to court immediately after the Lok Sabha election code of conduct without handing a copy of the same to the complainant raises suspicion over the motives of the officers in charge,” the statement said.

The groups appealed to the Congress government in Telangana to ensure that justice prevails, and demanded action against two investigating officers “who floated false and fictitious narratives, siding with the accused and derailing justice for Dalits”.

The statement was issued by the All India OBC Students Association, the All India Students Association, the Ambedkar Students Association, the Bahujan Students Front, the Democratic Students Union, the Students Federation of India, the Muslim Students Federation, the National Students Union of India, the Students Islamic Organisation, the Telangana Students Federation, the University of Hyderabad Students Union, along with the family of Vemula.

They noted that the closure report made “grave insinuations about the victims themselves”, including that Vemula was not a Dalit but had forged documents to get a caste certificate, and “speculates without any proof that it was the fear of this being exposed that was responsible for suicidal thoughts in Rohith Vemula”.

It said that despite his stellar academic record, the report tries to character assassinate Vemula by portraying him as someone more interested in politics than studies, said the statement.

Source
IANS
aw
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