Hyderabad: The controversy over caste of research scholar Rohith Vemula took another twist on Saturday with a fresh document showing his mother Radh-ika Vemula as belonging to the Vaddera community, which is listed as a backward class. The document is claimed to be from the Jalagam Rama Rao Municipal High School, Guntur, where she studied from Class VI to X.
Also, a video surfaced in Guntur showing Rohith’s father Mani Kumar in an inebriated state saying he belonged to the Vaddera community, but his wife and children belong to the Mala community, listed as a SC community. Radhika told the media on Saturday that she was born into the Mala community, but her parents had left her in the care of a Vaddera family at the age of five. She was married to Mani Kumar, from the Vaddera community in 1985.
She said that she had separated from her husband after the birth of their third child in 1990, after which she lived in a Mala locality and followed traditions and customs of her community in bringing up her children. She said: “In the Delhi rape case, no one asked the girl’s caste . Why am I being asked to testify my caste for asking for justice for my son's death?” She said the family still had Rohith’s ashes, and the final rites would not be held until justice is done.
Raja Vemula, the scholar’s brother, said the caste issue was being raised even though Rohith had got the sixth rank in the MSc entrance and was admitted in the general quota. He also secured CSIR fellowship twice. “My father spoke to a news channel but we did not stay with him. We have lived like the Mala people, my brother fought for the Malas and also died for them,” he said.
Rohith’s sister Neelima told the media: “I want the people responsible to come to the university and tell me why my brother died and why he was suspended.” She said the family does not want the Rs 8 lakh compensation offered by the university. “Rohith was not a person who would cower and commit suicide. He was forced into circumstances in which he was forced to commit suicide,” she said. She alleged that ABVP activist N. Susheel Kumar took the support of a central minister and ensured that Rohith was forced into such circumstances.
Raja Vemula also criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statement on Rohith. “After he was asked about Rohith’s death at a university in Lucknow on Friday Mr Modi gave a statement saying that Bharat mata bidda (India’s son) has died. Did it occur to him that a country’s son has died five days after his death,” he asked. He also asked how the university administration revoked the suspension of four scholars before the two member MHRD committee submitted their report....