The probe commissioned to look into Rohith Vemula’s suicide has given clean chit to the University of Hyderabad, former HRD minister Smriti Irani and her cabinet colleague Bandaru Dattatreya.
In its report, as carried by Indian Express, the one-man judicial commission, said that Rohith was not Dalit and his mother branded herself as one to avail benefits. It also exonerated the university administration saying that the expulsion of Rahith and his four batch mates was the ‘most reasonable’ decision by the university.
It didn’t stop here. The commission headed by former Allahabad High Court judge A K Roopanwal said that the intervention made by the then HRD Minister, Smriti Irani and local BJP MP, Bandaru Dattatreya was justified.
The inquiry commission was set up by the HRD Ministry on 28 January this year.
Rohith had committed suicide by hanging himself from the ceiling of a hostel room in the university in January this year. His suicide had triggered a huge political storm with opposition parties launching a massive attack on the Union government over the issue.
Irani, it was alleged, had written four letters at the behest of her cabinet colleague Dattatreya, to the university administration demanding immediate against against students who she described anti-nationals.
Rohith had left a suicide note, which read: “No one is responsible for my act of killing myself.”
Rohith and four other research scholars — all members of the Ambedkar union — had been living in a tent outside the university campus gate since they were thrown out of the hostel on 21 December. The university management had asked them to stay away from the mess and other common areas. Rohith’s friends said he was “heartbroken”.
The five students had been accused of attacking an activist of the BJP’s student wing Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad in August, allegedly during a protest against the execution of 1993 Bombay blasts convict Yakub Memon.
The university cleared them in an initial inquiry. But in December, it reversed its decision and took action against the five scholars.
Students blamed the action on Bandaru Dattatreya’s August letter to Education Minister Smriti Irani, alleging that the university had become a “den of casteist, extremist and anti-national politics”.