Vemula’s Suicide Was Not Result Of University Action: Inquiry Commission

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Hyderabad: In a twist in the Rohith Vemula suicide case, the inquiry commission probing the matter confirmed on Tuesday that the PhD scholar at the University of Hyderabad did not commit suicide due to expulsion from the hostel.

The inquiry commission said Vemula’s action had nothing to do with the university’s action to expel him from the hostel, adding that it was personal reasons that forced him to take the unfortunate step.

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The report, made public on Independence Day, confirmed that Vemula was a “troubled individual” and was unhappy for several reasons. The inquiry commission report by the one-man judicial commission under former Allahabad High Court Judge AK Roopanwal, said, “His suicide note is on the record which shows that Rohith Vemula had his own problems and was not happy with worldly affairs.

“He was frustrated for the reasons best known to him…He also wrote that he was all alone from childhood and was an unappreciated man. This also indicates his frustration. He did not blame anybody for his suicide,” it added.

In addition, the report indicated that the then HRD minister Smriti Irani and BJD leader Bandaru Dattareya were not responsible for the event. Reports at the time of his death suggested that Vemula’s death was a result of disciplinary action against him, prompted by BJP leaders.

“If he would have been angry with the decision of the university, certainly either he would have written in 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 the suicide,” the report said.

It further added that Vemula was not a Dalit by caste – one of the main reasons why the case gained prominence, leading to protests by student groups thus causing disruptions at the university. The student groups had alleged that Vemula was a victim of oppression and discrimination by BJP leaders.

The inquiry commission’s report was submitted to the HRD ministry in August 2016, following the tragic suicide, which created an uproar among students in India. The University of Hyderabad’s Council in November 2015 expelled five students – all of whom were said to be Dalits – from the hostel and barred them from access to public places within the campus premises. Vemula was one of the five students who were expelled.

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