Rohith Vemula was a Dalit and his family is eligible for benefits like a house, employment and monetary assistance, the National Commission for Scheduled Castes has ruled. Vemula was a research scholar at the University of Hyderabad. He committed suicide on January 17 citing caste-based discrimination at the institute.
Panel chairperson PL Punia said, "We were waiting for a report from Guntur district administration. We got the report in June. The district administration conducted a detailed probe and it concluded that Rohith Vemula was a Dalit." The commission's ruling came after a several hearings in the case. It also studied reports from the state government on the matter, reported Hindustan Times.
“The district administration gave us a detailed report. It also produced documents that showed over many years, not only Rohit, but his brother, sister and mother had been shown as Dalits. We examined the documents and came to the conclusion that Rohit Vemula was a Dalit,” said Punia. The commission will meet again on August 23 to review the actions taken by the government following Vemula's death. They will also take stock of the investigation into the case during the meeting. The commission's report was submitted on June 22, however, it surfaced only recently.