Rohith Vemula's grandfather's letter surfaces: He is a Dalit

"I strongly affirm that she belongs to the SC community and her children also get the same caste because they were brought up by her, without any support from my family or my son (Mani Kumar). Therefore our caste cannot be attributed to her or her children,� the letter reads

Rohith Vemula



Days after the Andhra Pradesh government said University of Hyderabad (UoH) research scholar Rohith Vemula was not a Dalit and his family should cancel their SC certification, activists have released a letter written by his paternal grandfather addressed to Guntur district collector Kantilal Dande and submitted in June last year.

“After Radhika Vemula (Rohith's mother) got divorced from my son, I very rarely used to meet her. Once I came to know that Radhika Vemula is suffering [from] paralysis, I met her. At that time, I was privately informed by Anjali Devi, that Radhika did not belong to Vaddera community, but was from the community of scheduled caste…I strongly affirm that she belongs to the SC community and her children also get the same caste because they were brought up by her, without any support from my family or my son (Mani Kumar). Therefore our caste cannot be attributed to her or her children,” the
letter reads
.

The controversy over Rohith's caste first broke out after a certificate of his Raja Vemula stated that he was a ‘Vaddera’, a caste which is categorised as OBC in AP. It was later revealed that Rohith’s father Mani Kumar was a Vaddera, and his mother was a Mala. However, Mani Kumar was an alcoholic who deserted the family once he realised that Radhika was a Dalit, the family claimed. Therefore, Rohith, who never knew his father, claimed his mother's caste, and grew up as a Mala.The state has also served a show-cause notice to Rohith's family.