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NCSC summons Guntur Collector in Rohit Vemula case

Guntur Collector and District Magistrate, Kantilal Dande, has been summoned by National Commission for Scheduled Castes in the case relating to the suicide of Rohit Vemula, a Dalit research scholar of University of Hyderabad on January 17.

Mr. Dande is leaving to New Delhi to present before the Commission on February 15. The NCSC has issued notices to Chief Secretary, Telangana, Vice Chancellor, University of Hyderabad, and Commissioner of Police, Cyberabad, to be present with all relevant documents. The NCSC decision to issue notices comes in the wake of a petition filed by Radhika Vemula, mother of Rohit, over the alleged discrimination faced by him on the campus causing him to end his life.

Controversy of Rohit's caste: The NCSC has also taken cognizance of the controversy that had erupted over the caste of the deceased scholar and the subsequent inquiries by both the Andhra Pradesh and Telangana State Governments.

It began with the ABVP and other BJP-affiliated organisations questioning the validity of SC certificate produced by Rohit during his admission in UoH. The Telangana police and AP revenue officers soon launched an inquiry. Top police officials from Cyberabad Police Commissionerate have visited Gurazala and Guntur and spoke to Rohit's father and his grandfather and recorded their statements.

Revenue sources in Guntur said that a SC certificate was issued in the year 2004 and in 2014 another certificate was issued in 2014 through Mee Seva, an online government portal. While Radhika stated that she belonged to SC (Mala) community and had brought up her three children in a Dalit colony, Prakash Nagar and practiced all the traditions of a SC, her estranged husband Mani Kumar claimed that Rohit inherited his community, Vaddera, listed as an OBC community.

Action Taken Report: The NCSC has also asked the top police and revenue officers with the Action Taken Report on the recommendations issued by the Commission dated January 20. The commission headed by by Chairman P.L Punia visited the UoH campus on January 18, a day after Rohit committed suicide.

Among the recommendations were, revoking suspension order against the four remaining scholars, ensuring free and fair investigation on the FIR registered under Section 306 IPC and SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, conducting a socio-economic survey of Rohit's family and ensure monetary compensation to the family.

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