The death of Hyderabad Central University (HCU) student and PhD scholar Rohith Vemula, who ended his life in his hostel room in January 2016, had rocked the country’s politics and the matter even reached the threshold of Parliament. Over two years down the line, in a shocking allegation, Vemula’s bereaved mother and family have accused the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) of using them for political gains. They have also alleged that IUML had promised them to build a house but there were no signs of progress, The Indian Express reported. According to the family, IUML had assured Vemula’s family that they would arrange Rs 20 lakh for constructing a house but the cheque bounced. Vemula’s mother and family stay in a rented house.
“In such a context, how can use they make promises and use it for political gain?” Vemula’s mother Radhika had wondered. “Why are they troubling me so much. They can just call me and hand it over, instead of sending it in this manner, in installments and by courier. If they don’t want to give, they can say that openly as well, instead of harassing us in this way,” she alleged, adding that one of the two cheques she received had bounced.
The Indian Union Muslim League, however, rejected the charges and termed the cheque bounce instance as a “clerical mistake”, the report said. “If the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) has given their word, we will stick to it. I heard the news that a cheque of Rs 20 lakh that was given to Rohith Vemula ‘s mother bounced. This has not come to the notice of any of our leaders yet,” IUML leader MK Muneer told ANI.
Earlier in February, Vemula’s mother had accepted compensation of Rs 8 lakh offered by the University of Hyderabad (UoH) for her son’s suicide two years ago and said it is in “no way a compromise” with the management. “Upon the advice of all the forefront legal and social supporters, I have learned that this money is being paid not at the the behest of VC Apparao, but as per the orders of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes,” she said.
“I did not want rumours flying around that Radhika Vemula has made a secret deal with the University and accepted money. I want to state in no unclear terms that the acceptance of this compensation, which is rightfully due to the family and dependents of Rohith Vemula, is in no way a compromise with the University management,” she added.
Vemula hanged himself to death in a hostel room on the campus on January 17, 2016 as he was allegedly upset over the disciplinary action taken against him by the UoH. A group of university students, some political parties and social organisations had alleged that the vice chancellor, among others, were responsible for the suicide. Based on a complaint by a section of students, the Cyberabad Police had registered a case against Apparao and four others, reports said.