Updated May 3rd, 2024 at 19:49 IST

Did Rahul Gandhi Make Up The Rohith Vemula Case?

 The Telangana Police, on Friday, filed a closure report into the death of 27-year-old student Rohith Vemula, stating that he wasn't a Dalit.

Reported by: Digital Desk
Did Rahul Gandhi Make Up The Rohith Vemula Case? | Image:Republic
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Hyderabad: The Telangana Police, on Friday, filed a closure report into the death of 27-year-old student Rohith Vemula, stating that he wasn't a Dalit. The cops stated that Rohith died by suicide fearing his 'real caste identity' would get revealed. The police report read, “If the studies of the deceased were seen, it appeared that he was involved more in student political issues in the campus rather than in his studies. He discontinued his first Ph.D after pursuing it for 2 years and he joined another Ph.D which also did not progress much because of non-academic activities.”

It stated, “In addition to this, the deceased himself is aware that he does not belong to Scheduled Caste and that his mother got him SC certificate. This could be one of the constant fears as the exposure the same would put him to loss of his academic degrees that he earned over the years and be compelled to face prosecution.”

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The report further read, “Thus, the deceased had multiple issues worrying him, which could have driven him to commit suicide. Despite best efforts, no evidence could be found to establish that the actions of the accused have driven the deceased to commit suicide.”

Smriti Irani absolved

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The cops also absolved then Union Minister for Human Resource and Development Smriti Irani, then Secunderabad MP Bandaru Dattatreya, Member of Legislative Council N Ramachander Rao, and Vice Chancellor Appa Rao, ABVP leaders in its closure report. 

“Cops' claim absurd”

Calling the cops' claim in the closure report ‘absurd,’ Rohith's brother told The Print that 'he didn't know how to express his feelings.' In the closure report, the Telangana Police have accused Rohith's family of forging their caste certificates without providing any evidence for the same. The cops stated that the closure of the case by citing a lack of evidence. 

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The development in the case came eight years after Rohith's death and four months after the Congress came to power in Telangana.

Rahul Gandhi called Rohith his 'hero'

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Supporting the nationwide protest for Rohith's that emerged in the form of the 'Justice for Vemula' campaign, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi called Rohith his 'hero' and said that he 'remains a symbol of resistance' years after his death.

Gandhi took to X and posted, “Rohith Vemula was murdered by discrimination & indignities against his Dalit identity. Even as years go by, he remains a symbol of resistance and his brave mother a symbol of hope. For fighting till the very end, Rohith is my hero, my brother who was wronged.”

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Expressing concern over Rohith's death, Gandhi then said, “Our universities are being encroached upon. Rohith's voice was muzzled. We need a law, which doesn't let students' voices in colleges and universities be stifled.”

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He added, “Rohith talked about the future of India, but RSS doesn't support that but only supports talking about the past.”

Rahul called Rohith's death 'murder'

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Calling Rohith's death a 'murder,' Gandhi said, “They say Rohit Vemula committed suicide. I call it murder. He was murdered by the indignities he suffered. He was killed because he was a Dalit.” He added, “Hitler, once wrote: Keep a firm grasp on reality, so you can strangle it at any time This is what is happening today-strangulation of reality.”

It may be recalled that Gandhi had assured people that if Congress came to power, it would implement 'Rohith Vemula Act' for the atrocities on Dalits. The closure report filed by Telangana Police clearly states how Rahul Gandhi tried to create a controversy surrounding the death of Rohith by calling it a 'murder' and not suicide. 

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Responding to the closure report, Congress President Malliakrjun Kharge said the party would approach the Supreme Court and challenge Telangana Police's claims. The Congress said it has apprised Telangana Chief Minister Revanth Reddy about the same and demanded a re-investigation of the case.  

Rohith a PhD scholar student of the University of Hyderabad (UoH) Rohith Vemula died by suicide in his hostel room in January 2016, which led to massive protests nationwide against 'discrimination towards Dalits' in universities. Rohith, a member of the Ambedkar Students’ Association, dedicated to advocating for the rights of Dalit students on campus, was among the five Dalit students protesting their expulsion from the university’s housing facility.

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Published May 3rd, 2024 at 19:08 IST