The family of Dalit student and PhD scholar Rohith Vemula, who committed suicide in January 2016, is upset. Two years after they were promised a house by the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), the family now claims there are no signs of progress and accused the political party of merely using them for political gains.
According to a report in The News Minute, days after Rohith committed suicide in his hostel room, the IUML had promised his mother Radhika Rs 20 lakh for building a house for the family, which presently stays in a rented house.
“When Rohith died, I was just crying in the velivada and I had no idea about all the people coming and greeting me. At this time, these party members came from Kerala and said they had heard the news and learnt that we were absolutely poor,” Radhika told the news organisation.
She added that the party took them to Kerala and made them participate in a big meeting where the party promised that it would sanction Rs 20 lakh and construct a house for the Vemulas.
While slamming the IUML for using her as a political pawn, she said, ““In such a context, how can use they make promises and use it for political gain?”
Radhika claimed that one of the two cheques given by the party had bounced, forcing her to make several trips to the bank. “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 said.
The Indian Union Muslim League, however, called the cheque bounce a clerical mistake.
Rohith Vemula’s suicide inside the Hyderabad university campus in 2016 had triggered a massive row with the Opposition calling it a case of atrocities against Dalits. However, an inquiry by the Andhra Pradesh government declared Vemula as belonging to the Other Backward Class and not a Dalit.