Radhika Vemula Offers Condolences to Dattatreya over Son’s Death

Through a Facebook post, Radhika Vemula said that she knows the pain of losing a son.

2 min read

Activist Radhika Vemula, mother of Rohith Vemula, offered condolences to former Union Minister Bandaru Dattatreya and his family over the death of his 21-year-son Bandaru Vaishnav.

According to reports, Vaishnav succumbed to a massive heart attack.

Through a Facebook post, Radhika Vemula said, “My deepest condolences to Mr Bandaru Dattatreya and family from the bottom of My Heart. As I know the pain when someone lost their son, I hope you will fine. Sorry for you loss. Jai Bhim (sic).”

Reacting to the post, Rohith’s younger brother, Raja Vemula, said, “Amma being Amma (Mother being mother).”

Bandaru Dattatreya was one of the accused in the death of Rohith Vemula, a Dalit PhD scholar from the University of Hyderabad who had committed suicide in January 2016 due to alleged caste discrimination.

Other than Dattatreya, others accused in Rohith’s death include University of Hyderabad (UoH) Vice Chancellor P Appa Rao. The case was registered under the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act for abetment of suicide.


Rohith was expelled from the varsity’s hostel along with four other Dalit students belonging to the Ambedkar Students Association (ASA) after they were found guilty by the executive committee in the assault of former ABVP president N Susheel Kumar.

Susheel’s brother, a BJP leader, wrote to Bandaru Dattatreya stating that the ASA was involved in ‘casteist’ and ‘anti-national’ activities, following which the MP had written to the then HRD minister Smriti Irani. His letter had sparked off a chain of events that eventually led to Rohith’s suicide.

Earlier this year, the BJP MP was at the centre of a controversy when the Lok Sabha Speaker nominated him as a member of the University Court. The University Court is a body comprising HoDs, Deans, Vice-Chancellor and Lok Sabha members who oversee the annual audit reports and the annual accounts of the university. The ASA had condemned the decision of the Lok Sabha, stating that it reflected the anti-Dalit agenda of the BJP government.

(The story has been published in an arrangement with The News Minute)

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