Rohith Vemula's family meets Revanth Reddy, CM promises to reinvestigate the case

Following massive public outrage, Chief Minister Revanth Reddy had called a closed door meeting with Rohith’s family and University of Hyderabad students and said that the closure report will be rendered invalid.
Chief Minister Revanth Reddy with Rohith’s family
Chief Minister Revanth Reddy with Rohith’s family
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The Congress-led Telangana government on Saturday, May 4 promised to reopen the investigation into the death of Rohith Vemula. Chief Minister A Revanth Reddy met Rohith's mother, Radhika Vemula, his brother Raja Vemula, as well as the student leaders and teachers who were part of the 2016 ‘Justice for Rohith Vemula’ campaign at his residence.

Following massive public outrage, Chief Minister Revanth Reddy had called a closed door meeting with Rohith’s family and University of Hyderabad students. After the meeting, the students informed the media that the closure report filed by the Telangana police would be rendered invalid. They said that the Chief Minister has assured them of a thorough and impartial inquiry into the case.

Speaking to the media, Radhika Vemula said, “If the police had claimed that Rohith was not a Dalit, then they should be able to bring back my son. By saying he is not a Dalit, they are killing my son again.” She added that the investigation conducted in 2018 was submitted only now before the court. Demanding a fair reinvestigation into Rohith's death, she added, “We have met the Chief Minister. He has promised a fair probe. We are happy with the statement of the Congress government.”

The Justice for Rohith Vemula committee, which led agitation following Rohith’s death, condemned the report for insensitivity and selectively dismissing the lived experiences of him and his mother Radhika. Following immense pressure from several groups, the state Director General of Police, Ravi Gupta, issued a statement on May 4 stating that the case would be further investigated. Subsequently, the CM called the family for a closed-door meeting and assured them of reinvestigating the case.

It must be noted that Radhika Vemula has throughout maintained that she belongs to the SC Mala caste and was raised as a domestic worker by a Vaddera OBC family from her childhood. Rohith's father Mani Kumar also belonged to the Vaddera community and abandoned Radhika and her children after he discovered her Dalit identity. 

According to the closure report filed on March 21, the police claimed that Rohith did not belong to the Scheduled Caste community and absolved BJP leaders accused in the case. It said that Rohith Vemula died by suicide fearing that his real identity would be revealed and claimed that his caste certificates were forged. The closure report, submitted in the Telangana High Court and released publicly on May 2, emerged just ten days before the Lok Sabha elections in the state. However, it absolved the then Secunderabad MP Bandaru Dattatreya, Member of Legislative Council N Ramachander Rao, Vice Chancellor Appa Rao, ABVP leaders, and Minister for Women and Child Development Smriti Irani. 

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