The Joint Action Committee for Social Justice, an umbrella body of students' groups has also condemned the report.

Saying that Rohith was not Dalit totally wrong NCSC rejects MHRD reportFile photo
news News Friday, August 26, 2016 - 07:17

NCSC Chairman P L Punia on Thursday rejected the reported finding of the Roopanwal Commission that Rohith Vemula did not belong to the SC community as "totally wrong".

The National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) chairman said the statutory body and the district collector have, in separate reports, found that the Hyderabad Central University research scholar belonged to the Dalit community, and not Other Backward Class (OBC).

"The issues raised by the Congress were sidelined and now the report is being presented that Vemula was not a Dalit," Punia told reporters in Hyderabad.

The Congress MP alleged that the commission was set up to justify what BJP ministers had been saying from day one that Vemula was OBC and not a Dalit.

He said that the suicide by the Dalit scholar was "painful and unfortunate". Vemula had committed suicide by hanging himself from the ceiling of a hostel room in the university.

The suicide by Vemula had triggered a huge political storm with opposition parties launching a massive attack on the Union government over the issue. They also accused the university authorities of mishandling the situation, which led to Vemula's suicide.

The Justice (retd.) A K Roopanwal Commission, which was constituted by the HRD Ministry to look into the circumstances leading to the death, has submitted its report.

According to reports, the commission has said that the 26-year-old research scholar did not belong to the Scheduled Caste (SC) community.

"The commission was formed to find out why Rohith Vemeula committed suicide and who were responsible for his death. Instead of working as per the mandate, the commission was trying to find out the caste of Vemula and that is unfortunate," Punia told PTI.

"...its findings are fake and fictitious. The final authority on caste is District Collector, and the collector with conclusive evidence has given us report that he is Scheduled Caste and does not belong to other backward class," he said.

Meanwhile, the Joint Action Committee for Social Justice, an umbrella body of students' groups at University of Hyderabad, has condemned the report.

The JAC alleged that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) influenced the panel to save central ministers Smriti Irani and Bandaru Dattatreya.

The JAC termed the report the political manoeuvring by BJP to deny Justice for Rohith and four other Dalit Research Scholars who were harassed, discriminated and socially boycotted by the vice chancellor to show his allegiance to Irani and Dattatreya.

The JAC said the panel's conclusion that Rohith was not a Dalit was shocking as district magistrate of Guntur had declared Athat he belonged to Mala, a scheduled caste. It claimed that the commission exceeded its mandate.

The commission did not permit Dalit research scholars to present their version of the incidents that led to their harassment on the ground that the mandate of the commission is only to inquire into Rohith's suicide.



Inputs PTI and IANS

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