Guntur: The district collector of Guntur in Andhra Pradesh has ordered investigation to confirm the caste of Hyderabad University scholar Rohith Vemula. District collector Kantilal Dande has previously proved that Vemula belonged to the Dalit community, which is a scheduled caste category.
Dande further said that a fresh inquiry was needed to establish Rohith's caste identity because two previous reports, the first by Guntur Urban Mandal revenue officer, and the second by Gurjala Mandal Revenue officer, gave him different accounts.
While the Guntur report said he was a Dalit, the Gurjala one said he was from a backward class. Rohith was born in Guntur urban, his father was from Gurjala. Only the first report, which gave him Dalit status, went to the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC).
The establishment of Rohith's caste status is important because Dalit activists have charged that Union minister Bandaru Dattatreya and University of Hyderabad vice-chancellor Appa Rao are guilty under the SC/ST Atrocities (Prevention) Act for abetting Rohith's suicide.