Friday, June 17, 2016

Rohith Vemula suicide: National SC commission "wants" anti-atroticies law imposed on Modi ministers, others

By Our Representative
The declaration by Guntur district collector Kantilal Dande that Hyderabad Central University  (HCU) research scholar Rohith Vemula, who committed suicide allegedly because of intense political pressure, was indeed a Dalit, is all set to create a fresh flutter across India, with demands being raised tot take action against those who were responsible for it.
The National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) has fired the salvo saying it will direct the Cyberabad Police to file a case under the Prevention of Scheuduled Caste/ Scheduled Cast Atrocities Act (POA) against Union Minister Bandaru Dattatreya and Vice-Chancellor, HCU P Appa Rao, “responsible” for the PhD scholar's suicide.
“The Telangana police will have to act on atrocity charges pressed against the accused in the PoA case, failing which they will be in violation of constitutional provisions and the law”, NCSC chairman PL Punia has been quoted as saying in Hyderabad.
The NCSC’s direction will be “based on Guntur district collector’s report on Vemula’s caste status”, said Punia, adding, “In the meeting which is to be convened next week, the NCSC will table the report and ask Cyberabad police to act on it.”
Meanwhile, the Guntur collector has already sent a copy of the report to both the investigating officer and Cyberabad Commissioner CV Anand, with the NCSC chairman justifying the report, saying that the district collector “is the highest authority in issuing caste certificate”.
“The Collector’s certification in this case was based on the data and documents provided by Revenue Divisional Officer and Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Guntur. As per the documents, a permanent Caste certificate was issued to Rohith Vemula by the Guntur Tahsildar in 2005. His caste was always recorded as Mala (SC) and with the Collector certifying this, the police should go ahead with the proceedings,” Punia said.
The issue is likely to turn into a major controversy, as among those who questioned Vemula's Dalit status were two Union ministers – Smriti Irani and Thawar Chand Gehlot.
Trailing the suicide, activists say, it all began when BJP vice president of Hyderabad Nandanam Diwakar wrote to Central minister Dattareya (August 10, 2015) to act against Vemula, who along with others had protested against the refusal to screen a film on atrocities against minorities, “Muzaffarnagar Baaqi Hain”.
This led Dattatreya to write a letter to to Irani, in which an allegedly exaggerated account was given by ABVP student Susheel Kumar’s injuries during a clash between two student groups in the University campus over screening the film, and action was sought against Vemula.
Meanwhile, a section of the faculty of the university has alleged that the vice chancellor's role is yet to be interrogated despite the NCSC having given the green signal for it, leading the university authorities to suspended two professors, KY Ratnam and Tathagata Sengupta, for supporting the peacefully protests by students.
Quoting minutes of the NCSC meeting, Prashanth Dontha, a friend of Vemula, has said, “The NCSC had instructed the police to go ahead with the investigation – nearly two to three weeks ago – on the basis of the brief submitted by the additional district magistrate of Guntur. Despite this, the police has not questioned the vice chancellor.”

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