Hyderabad: Amid a row over which caste research scholar Rohith Vemula belonged to, his mother Radhika on Saturday claimed she belongs to the Scheduled Caste but was adopted by a family from Vaddera, a backward class community.
As questions are being raised as to whether Rohith, the research scholar of Hyderabad Central University who committed suicide on January 17, was a Dalit, his mother Vemula Radhika made a clarification.
She told reporters that she was born in a Mala (Scheduled Caste) family but her parents left her with a Vaddera family, where she grew up.
Radhika said that in 1985, she married a man from the Vaddera community and had three children with him. The couple separated due to some personal problems and she kept all three children with her.
Radhika said she followed all traditions and customs of Mala as she originally belonged to the Scheduled Caste family.
"Why has the country not asked the caste of Nirbhaya and why is this question being asked only in case of Rohith?" she asked, referring to the gang rape victim in Delhi.
She made the clarification following a statement by Rohith's paternal grandmother that they were from the Vaddera community.
Rohith was one of the five Dalit research scholars suspended by the university last year after they allegedly attacked a leader of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarathi Parishad.
He committed suicide on January 17, sparking public outrage over the injustice meted out Dalit students.
As per official records, he belonged to the Scheduled Caste. A case under the SC/ST Atrocities Act was booked against central minister Bandaru Dattatreya, Vice Chancellor Appa Rao and two leaders of the ABVP.