Rohit Vemula, family may lose SC status

Guntur: The district-level screening committee (DLSC) presided over by the joint collector has sought cancellation of the Scheduled Caste status of late research scholar Rohith Vemula and his family.

Guntur district collector has issued a notice to mother of Rohit Vemula, the University of Hyderabad research scholar who committed suicide in January last, asking her to prove she belonged to the Scheduled Caste.

The notice was part of ongoing inquiry into Rohit's caste, being conducted by the Revenue department following claims and counter-claims over his caste affiliation.

While one version says he belonged to the Backward Caste, 'Vaddera' (to which his father belonged), the other claimed he was from Scheduled Caste 'Mala' community (which his mother Radhika comes from).

Guntur district Collector Kantilal Dande, had, in fact, submitted a report to the National SC Commission last April, saying Rohit belonged to the SC.

Vemula studied at theUniversity of Hyderabad(UoH) where he ended his life in January, 2016.

The DLSC report asked the district collector to declare Rohith and his family members as members of the Odde (Vad- dera) community (BC-A) and annul the certificates allotting them the SC status.

However, a re-inquiry was ordered following petitions against the claims of the scholar's family.

As part of the re-inquiry, the revenue officials already spoke to Radhika and other family members, including her estranged husband and Rohit's father Mani Kumar.

Now, the Collector issued a notice to Radhika asking her to prove that she belonged to SC community.

The SC certificate issued for Rohit would be revoked if she did not prove her claim within 15 days, said the notice that was delivered three days ago.

Rohit had killed himself in a hostel room on the HU campus last year in Hyderabad, sparking a huge political slugfest.