‘I know the pain’: Rohit Vemula’s mother extends her condolences to Dattatreya

HYDERABAD: Rohith Vemula’s mother Radhika Vemula has expressed her grief and offered condolences to former Union Minister and BJP parliamentarian Bandaru Dattatreya over the death of his only son Bandaru Vaishnav, 21.

According to reports, Vaishnav died of a massive heart attack. Vaishnav, a third year medical student, collapsed while having dinner with his family at their Ramnagar residence in Hyderabad on Tuesday.

In a video on Facebook released by Raja Vemula, younger brother of Rohith, Radhika is seen extending her condolences to the family. “My deepest condolences to Mr Bandaru Dattatreya and family from the bottom of My Heart. As I know the pain when someone lost their son, I hope you will fine. Sorry for you loss. Jai Bhim (sic).”

Reacting to the post, Raja Vemula said, “Amma being Amma (Mother being mother).”

Vemula, a student of University of Hyderabad committed suicide by hanging from the ceiling of a room in the New Research Scholars’ Hostel of the University in January 2016 due to alleged caste discrimination. Vemula’s suicide has sparked major protests in the university.

Dattatreya was one of the accused in Dalit research scholar’s death. There had been allegations that Vemula took the the extreme action at the behest of Mr Dattatreya, then Union labour minister.

Dattatreya wrote a letter to the university administration to get the protesting members of the Ambedkar Students’ Association (ASA) — of which Vemula was a member — suspended, by calling them “anti-national”.

It was also alleged that the BJP leader had written a letter to the then HRD Minister Smriti Irani, seeking action against the Dalit students’ “anti-national” acts.