Hyderabad:Cyberabad Police on Wednesday said they are awaiting reply from Guntur Collector on the caste status of research scholar Rohit Vemula, who committed “suicide” on the University of Hyderabad (UoH) campus in Hyderabad on January 17, to enable them to finalise investigation in the case.
“It (Vemula’s death) was unfortunate. To finalise investigation in the case (registered under) SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act…we need to have certificate/report from the Tahsildar or Collector with regard to the caste of the deceased (Vemula),” Cyberabad Police Commissioner Sandeep Shandilya said.
“There is some problem in that regard…We (Cyberabad Police) have written several times to the Collector and that reply/report based on which we can proceed in this case that is not there. If the Collector gives reply to the letters we can finalise investigation into the case,” the Cyberabad Police chief said.
Shandilya said he had already met officials of National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC), who are also following this case. “As of now due to police…(investigations into) this case is not delayed,” he asserted.
Vemula’s suicide on January 17 at the UoH had sparked massive nationwide protests, resulting in a fierce political slugfest, with a string of political parties and Dalit organisations siding with students and accusing the Bharatiya Janata Party and varsity administration of being anti-Dalit.
A group of students under Joint Action Committee for Social Justice, which spearheaded the protests, had held UoH Vice Chancellor Appa Rao Podile responsible for the suicide of the research scholar.
UoH, also known as Hyderabad Central University (HCU) had witnessed sporadic protests since Vemula’s death, with students demanding removal of Appa Rao from the VC’s post and had also been demanding his arrest.
Earlier, Gachibowli Police under Cyberabad Commissionerate had registered case against Appa Rao, Union Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya and others under SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and for abetment of Vemula’s suicide.
The suicide of Vemula had triggered a huge political furore with the then HRD minister Smriti Irani coming under attack along with Dattatreya for having written a letter related to the matter.