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Will campaign against BJP in UP elections, says Rohith Vemula’s mother Radhika

Addressing the media, Radhika said, “I will go to Uttar Pradesh independently with activists fighting for justice to Rohit to oppose the BJP, whose government at the Centre has tormented us.”

rohith vemula, vemula mother, dalit suicide, uttar pradesh elections, radhika vemula, radhika vemula elections, BJP, vemula mother bjp, indian express news, india news, up election updates, dalit votes Rohith Vemula’s mother said she would fight against the government at the Centre that has ‘tormented’ them. (Source: Express Photo)

RADHIKA Vemula, mother of University of Hyderabad student Rohit Vemula who committed suicide nine months ago, has decided to oppose the BJP in Uttar Pradesh elections. Addressing the media here Wednesday, Radhika said, “I will go to Uttar Pradesh independently with activists fighting for justice to Rohit to oppose the BJP, whose government at the Centre has tormented us.”

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Radhika, who embraced Buddhism last year, was in the city to attend the Dhamma Chakra Pravartan Din event at Deekshabhoomi here on Tuesday. “The BJP-led Centre and its ministers had targeted Ambedkar Students Association, including my son, who were talking about Ambedkar and propagating his ideas and principles,” she said.

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Asked specifically if she’ll support the BSP in UP, she said, “We like the BSP but we are not going there with any political party. I am not joining any political party either. But we will certainly campaign against BJP independently.”

Radhika reiterated all her grievances, blaming BJP ministers Bandaru Dattatreya and Smriti Irani, Vice-Chancellor Appa Rao and local BJP MLA Raghavendra Rao for “driving Rohit to suicide” and harassing activists of the Ambedkar Students Association.

Rohith’s mother V Radhika. V Radhika.

“The Roopanwala commission has directly maligned me saying I was not a Dalit. I have said many times I was discriminated against because I was born as a Dalit even by my foster parents and my husband. Yet, the commission referred to my not being a Dalit at length though it was not a matter of inquiry. The commission had no mandate to give clean chit to those responsible for Rohit’s suicide,” she said.

Asked what kind of justice she expected, Radhika said, “All those responsible for Rohit’s suicide should be punished.”

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Rohit’s friend and fellow activist Sannaki Munna said, “We want ‘Rohit Act’ to be passed by Parliament to prevent atrocities against Dalit students in universities. The BJP at the Centre termed Ambedkar Students Association as extremist and anti-national, which shows its anti-Dalit attitude. If PM Modi said after a long gap that in Rohit’s death the country had lost a son, why did his government not do anything against those who caused his death?”

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Radhika said, “The Telangana government led by K Chandrashekhar Rao promised to raise the issue but has maintained silence. He should break the silence and do something.”

First published on: 13-10-2016 at 12:05:40 am
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