The ex-gratia “is in no way a compromise with the university management,” Radhika Vemula said.

Rohith Vemulas family accepts ex-gratia suggested by SC Commission
news Rohith Vemula Tuesday, February 20, 2018 - 17:49

Over two years after his tragic death, Rohith Vemula’s family accepted the ex-gratia of Rs 8 lakh offered by the University of Hyderabad, as per the directive of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes.

The family had earlier rejected the ex-gratia when it was offered in 2016.

Speaking to TNM, Rohith’s brother, Raja Vemula, said, “We initially thought that the compensation was provided by Appa Rao, the Vice Chancellor. Bhim Rao, our lawyer, explained that it is the National Commission of Scheduled Castes (NCSC) who provided the ex-gratia, and the university has no role in it.”

“However, we won’t be accepting the cheque given through the VC. We will take it only if the Dean of Students' Welfare gives it to us,” Raja added.

Through a press release, Radhika Vemula informed, “You may recall that I had refused to accept the money when it was first offered. I was under the wrong impression that this money was being offered at the behest of Apparao and thought that they were trying to buy my silence.”

She also thanked P L Punia, the NCSC chairman for standing by them.

“You may recall that the NCSC under the leadership of the honourable Sri P L Punia had declared that my son Rohith was a Dalit. Sri Punia, as you may also recall, slammed the findings of the Justice A K Roopanwal commission appointed by Smriti Irani to look into my son's death. Sri Punia stood by our side and on the side of truth when he gave a statement saying that the Roopanwal commission's findings were "fake and fictitious". I am grateful to Sri Punia for standing by the side of truth despite being under tremendous pressure from the entire central government of Narendra Modi,” she said.

She went on to add that she wanted everything to be in the open, and did not want rumours.

“...I want to do everything transparently. I did not want rumours flying around that Radhika Vemula has made a secret deal with the university and accepted money. I was pretty sure that Apparao would float such rumours in case I accepted the money. I want to state in no unclear terms that the acceptance of this compensation, which is rightfully due to the family and dependents of Rohith Vemula, is in no way a compromise with the university management. I will not rest until Appa Rao Podile and his masters in the BJP are punished for their crimes.

I have dedicated the rest of my life to Babasaheb's mission, it is more important than anything else to me. In the last two years I have travelled to hundreds of rallies across the country and addressed thousands of people. I was overwhelmed by the love and respect I received from the people. Wherever I went, people called me Veera Matha (mother of a martyr). I will always be conscious of my responsibility and promise never to let down the cause for which my son laid down his life,” she stated.

Rohith Vemula, a Dalit PhD student from University of Hyderabad committed suicide in January 2016 after being expelled from his hostel along with various other restrictions, after they were allegedly found guilty of physically assaulting former ABVP president N Susheel Kumar.

Rohith was found hanging in a hostel room on campus and had written a suicide note that sparked outrage across the country. In the note, he spoke about his dreams and the way the casteist world around him had crushed those, which sent waves of anger across the country.

It also ignited a debate about Dalit atrocities in educational institutions, and created a national outrage against BJP for their involvement in the suicide.

It also created a nation-wide uproar against the BJP government.

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