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Rohith Vemula’s Kin Rejects Ex-Gratia, Blames Irani and Modi

Rohith’s family criticised PM Modi and Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani, asking why it took them five days to respond.

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In a rebuff to Hyderabad Central University, the family members of Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula, who allegedly committed suicide in a hostel room, rejected the ex-gratia offered to them, on Saturday.

They criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani, asking why it took them five days to respond. Vemula’s mother Radhika, sister Neelima and brother Raju, who visited the campus, demanded that “those responsible for his death” be brought to book.

Not Rs eight lakh, we don’t want even if you give Rs eight crore[...]from HCU where he died. She (Smriti Irani) called up after five days. Why did it take five days? You are also a woman...you are also a mother...it took five days! I want to know why he died. Did you kill him, or did he die? Why was he suspended? Those responsible should be arrested and punished. That’s the only thing I want.

Neelima, sister of Rohith Vemula

The Prime Minister says he (Rohith) was a son of Mother India. I am not big enough to talk about him (PM)[...] Why he did not speak for five days?

Raju, Brother of Rohith Vemula

Rohith’s sister said he was not a “timid” person and termed his suicide as a “murder”. She demanded that punishment be given to Susheel Kumar, the ABVP leader who was allegedly assaulted by Rohith and four other students, and varsity’s Vice Chancellor Appa Rao Podile.

She also sought to know why the family was not informed of Rohith’s suspension. Breaking his silence on the matter, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had yesterday said:

When there is news that a youth of my country, Rohith, was compelled to commit suicide, what his family must have gone through. Mother India has lost a son. There will be reasons, there will be politics (surrounding it) but the fact remains that a mother has lost her son. I feel the pain very well.

Irani had on Friday, sought to reach out to the family and spoke to Vemula’s mother over telephone. She had assured her that justice would be done on the basis of a judicial inquiry.

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