Row erupts over 'promises' made to Vemula's family

Reports about the claims by the late PhD scholar Rohith Vemula's mother that the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) made false promises to construct a house for them has triggered a political controversy.

Rohith's mother Radhika, however, refuted the reports saying she did not make any such complaint. Rohit's brother Raja said the family did not make such allegations.

Raja claimed that his Facebook page was hacked and said that someone is "trying to defame my mom, Radhika Vemula, by saying that she accepted some amount from IUML party, Kerala, to talk against Mr Modi...it is not true".

Raising the issue, senior BJP leader and Union minister Piyush Goyal sought an apology from Congress president Rahul Gandhi and wanted to know whether promises were made to Radhika in lieu of attending such rallies. "The Congress president should apologise," he said.

"It is unfortunate that for political gains, Opposition parties have made Rohit Vemula's mother give false promises to make false statements against the Modi government. How long will the Opposition parties continue with such abhorrent tactics for petty political gains? The condition of the family (Vemula) was not good and she was promised money for political reasons so that she could share the stage with Opposition leaders and level allegations," he told reporters.

As the reports about the Muslim League not honouring its promise and the family's unhappiness over it made into the public domain, Radhika and Raja said the party is standing by its promise.

"IUML promised to help us build a house as we are poor. And they stand on their word," Raja wrote on Facebook.

Rohith, a PhD scholar at the University of Hyderabad, committed suicide in the campus on January 17, 2016. The incident triggered nationwide protests over the "harassment" meted out to him by groups affiliated to the BJP and the RSS. Opposition parties had raised the issue in a big way in Parliament.

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Row erupts over 'promises' made to Vemula's family

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