Father surfaces five days after Rohith's death

Last Updated 22 January 2016, 19:21 IST

The controversy surrounding Rohith Vemula’s caste got further entangled in trouble after his elusive father surfaced before the media here on Friday and claimed that his son belonged to the Backward Community (BC) and not the Scheduled Caste (SC).

Rohith’s estranged father, Vemula Mani Kumar, said his son obtained a SC certificate without his knowledge.

Kumar arrived here almost five days after his elder son’s death and said that he is not aware why his son’s caste was mentioned as SC in the caste certificate, as Vaddera’s come under the BC-A category in Andhra Pradesh.

“I have not spoken to my son in the past 8 months. He never told me that he was suspended nor he was depressed. Rohit’s younger brother Raja Chaitanya who used to work in Bengaluru recently shifted to Uppal here and my wife Radhika alias Baby is now living with him,” said Kumar, a native of Gurajala of Guntur district.

He also said that till Class X, Rohith’s name was Mallik Chakravarthy. “I don’t know why and when his name was changed to Rohith. We used to call him Mallayya,” said Kumar.
Kumar also said that he has no money and reached Hyderabad by hitchhiking and will go to the university if someone offers him a lift. 

I came here to collect my son’s ashes, which I want to immerse in river Krishna near Amaravati. I will go to university to offer tributes at the Amar Stupa erected by the students at the Dalit Ghetto,” he said. “I am proud of my son. He is very strong.

People die for their own benefit but my son died for the benefit of people. I was hoping that my son will send me money so that I can construct a house in Gurajala. But I was informed about his death a day after his suicide. I believe that Rohith was murdered. I want an enquiry on the circumstances that led to his death,” Kumar added.

He also urged the government to let the Vaddera’s continue under the BC category. “If you want to change it then accord the status of SC/ST in both Telugu-speaking states,” he said. The ABVP has released the caste certificate of Rohit’s younger brother which states that he is a BC and that Rohith was misleading everyone by claiming the Dalit tag.

However, the Ambedkar Students’ Association countered this by distributing copies of Rohith’s caste certificate which clearly mentions that he is a SC. Rohith’s mother is a SC (Mala) and Rohith has every right to choose his lineage, they said.

(Published 22 January 2016, 19:21 IST)

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