The one-man judicial commission set up by the Ministry of Human Resources Development in the wake of suicide by a Hyderabad Central University student Rohith Vemula in January has concluded that Vemula's mother "branded" herself as Dalit and his expulsion from the university was the "most reasonable" decision taken up by the administration. The findings also reveal that Vemula committed suicide because of "own problems" instead of alleged discrimination for being a Dalit, an exclusive report in The Indian Express said.
The report submitted by Allahabad High Court judge A K Roopanwal in August also concluded that there was no "political influence" on Hyderabad Central University administration and Union Ministers Bandaru Dattatreya and Smriti Irani were only discharging their duties while dealing with the matter.
The judicial commission, which took eight months to complete, bases its findings on the deposition of over 50 people related to the case including university teachers, officers, staff members and some students.
Here are the major findings of the report:
Dalit or non-Dalit
Being brought up by his mother V Radhika, the commission report states that Rohith's mother claimed to be a Dalit in order to get a caste certificate for her son.
"To me it appears that this caste certificate has no value and that in order to take benefit of Scheduled Caste she (Radhika) anyhow obtained the Mala Caste certificate from the corporator, Uppalapati Danamma in whose house she remained for one and half years...The evidence on record shows that she belongs to Vaddera Community and, therefore, the Scheduled Caste certificate issued to Rohith Vemula cannot be said to be a genuine one and he was not a Scheduled Caste person," the report states.
Clean chit to politicians and university
According to the commission report, Vemula did not face any kind of discrimination on the campus and his expulsion from the university along with other students was not taken under political pressure.
In the case of allegations against several ministers and MPs of BJP-govt in leading to the circumstances that led to Vemula's suicide, the report states:
"Being the public representative, Shri Ramachandra Rao, MLC, took the issue up with the university authorities, Shri Bandaru Dattatreya, Minister of State for Labour and Employment wrote the letter to Smt. Smriti Irani, HRD Minister as the MP of Secunderabad Constituency and the letter written by HRD Minister was just to pursue the matter with the university authorities on the letter of Shri Bandaru Dattatreya."
Suicide due to personal "reasons"
Observing that there was no direct reference to anyone as a reason behind his suicide, the judicial commission report said "Rohith Vemula had his own problems and not happy with the worldly affairs."
"He was feeling frustrated for reasons best known to him. He wrote that there was no urgency for understanding love, pain, life and death but he was rushing after them. It indicates that he was not happy with the activities going around him. He also wrote that he was all alone from childhood and was an unappreciated man…He did not blame anybody for his suicide. If he would have been angry with the decision of the university certainly either he would have written in the specific words or would have indicated in this regard. But he did not do the same. It shows that the circumstances prevailing in the university at that time were not the reasons for committing suicide. The whole reading of the letter shows that he was not feeling well in this world and under frustration ended his life," the report said.