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Hyderabad university students burn Roopanwal Commission report on Rohith Vemula

Students of Hyderabad university have rejected the Roopanwal Commission report on the suicide of Dalit student Rohith Vemula as a cover up operation.

india Updated: Aug 25, 2017 17:00 IST
Srinivasa Rao Apparasu
Srinivasa Rao Apparasu
Hindustan Times, Hyderabad
Roopanwal Commission,Rohith Vemula,Suicide
Students of the University of Hyderabad setting on fire the report of the Roopanwal Commission which exonerated university authorities and politicians named in the suicide case of Dalit student Rohith Vemula.(HT PHOTO)

Students of University of Hyderabad, under the banner of Justice-For-Rohith-Vemula, on Thursday evening burnt the copies of the Justice Roopanwal Commission report which attributed the suicide by research scholar Rohith Vemula on January 17, 2016, to personal reasons and exonerated the University authorities.

Scores of students and teachers of the University, who gathered at the shopping complex where a statue of Vemula was installed, declared that they were rejecting the commission’s report, which was submitted to the Union ministry of human resources development (HRD) last October but was officially disclosed only recently.

The one-man commission headed by former Allahabad high court judge Justice Ashok Kumar Roopanwal was constituted to investigate into the sequence of events and circumstances that led Vemula’s suicide and fix the responsibility.

Rejecting the report as mischievous, Dontha Prashanth, leader of Ambedkar Students’ Association said the committee’s report suited the purpose of ABVP and BJP and had gone against material evidences available before the commission. “As Rohith wrote in his last letter, we were desperate to start our lives all the while. Fight for self-respect by Dalits itself was a crime,” Prashanth said.

Students of Hyderabad university gather to protest the Roopanwal Commission report on Rohith Vemula’s suicide. (HT PHOTO)

The speakers pointed out that the report was politically motivated and was mainly aimed at protecting the accused from being charge-sheeted in the case filed under SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act and Section 306. The accused included Vice Chancellor Podile Appa Rao, Union ministers Bandaru Dattatreya and Smriti Irani, BJP MLC N Ramachandra Rao and ABVP leaders N Sushil Kumar and Krishna Chaitanya.

Read more: Oppn, activists slam probe panel report on Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula’s death

The students pointed out that the accused were charged with causing humiliation, harassment, discrimination, insult and injustice to Dalit research scholars and for the institutional murder of Vemula.

Expressing solidarity with the students, university professor K Laxminarayana said the committee had exceeded its brief and probed into the caste of Rohith. “As per the terms of references, he has to look into the circumstances that led to the suicide of Rohith Vemula. This was not done. I never imagined a judge can be a liar,” he said.

First Published: Aug 25, 2017 12:15 IST