Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula’s mother Radhika on Saturday vowed that she would not immerse her son’s ashes unless University of Hyderabad Vice Chancellor Appa Rao Podile resigned from his post, reports a leading English daily.
The family rejected the ex-gratia offered to them yesterday, and criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani, asking why it took them five days to respond. Vemula’s mother Radhika, sister Neelima and brother Raju, who visited the campus, demanded that “those responsible for his death” be brought to book. “Not Rs eight lakh, we don’t want even if you give Rs eight crore…from HCU where he died,” Neelima said.
Radhika who was speaking to a crowd of protestors said that the VC needs to explain why her son was expelled and “compelled to sleep in the open for two weeks”. She demanded the VC’s arrest. “I will fight till justice is done,” she said.
She also was angry about the caste of her first born being the topic of discussion. She asked why such questions did not come up “when Nirbhaya died in Delhi after her rape”.
Rohith, a second-year research scholar of Science, Technology and Society Studies Department, and others were suspended from the hostel last year following allegations that they attacked Sushil Kumar after the screening of a controversial documentary ‘Muzaffarnagar Baaqi Hai’. Earlier this month, five students were thrown out of the hostel after they accused the university authorities of denying them access to campus facilities, except their classrooms and workshops.
The 28-year-old victim from Andhra Pradesh’s Guntur district was found hanging at the hostel room of one of his friends around 7:30 pm last Sunday.