The mother of University of Hyderabad research scholar Rohit Vemula, whose suicide in January last sparked a nationwide uproar, has been asked to prove she belonged to the Scheduled Caste.
A probe by the Andhra Pradesh government has concluded that Rohith belonged to he Other Backward Classes (OBC) and that he was not a Dalit and has issued a notice to his mother Radhika Vemula, asking her to prove she belonged to the Scheduled Caste.
The notice was been issued by the Guntur district collector on Monday.
The notice was part of ongoing inquiry into Rohit's caste, being conducted by the Revenue department following claims and counter-claims over his caste affiliation.
While one version says he belonged to the Backward Caste, 'Vaddera' (to which his father belonged), the other claimed he was from Scheduled Caste 'Mala' community (which his mother Radhika comes from).
Guntur district Collector Kantilal Dande, had, in fact, submitted a report to the National SC Commission last April, saying Rohit belonged to the SC.
However, a re-inquiry was ordered following petitions against the claims of the scholar's family.
As part of the re-inquiry, the revenue officials already spoke to Radhika and other family members, including her estranged husband and Rohit's father Mani Kumar.
Now, the Collector issued a notice to Radhika asking her to prove that she belonged to SC community.
The SC certificate issued for Rohit would be revoked if she did not prove her claim within 15 days, said the notice that was delivered three days ago.
Rohit had killed himself in a hostel room on the HU campus last year in Hyderabad, sparking a huge political slugfest.
(With PTI inputs)