Banner Of The Group He Belonged To Became Rohith Vemula's Noose

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Banner Of The Group He Belonged To Became Rohith Vemula's Noose

Hyderabad research scholar Rohith Vemula hanged himself with a political banner


New Delhi:  Politics shadowed his final months. Rohith Vemula hanged himself with a political banner.

The photo of a blue banner tied to a fan serves as a gut-wrenching reminder of Rohith's struggle.

The banner belonged to the Ambedkar Students' Association, of which Rohith was a member.

The 26-year-old research scholar had spent days living in a tent outside the university campus after being banned from the hostel, cafeteria and other select areas.

He and four other Dalit students had been suspended for allegedly beating an activist of the Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) in August.

Rohith had been trying to meet the Vice Chancellor and was heartbroken, say his friends.

His Facebook page has been filled with "Miss you" messages from friends and supporters.

In photographs posted on Facebook, Rohith had chronicled his life in Guntur.

In March 2014, he had posted picture of a sewing machine, calling it the "main bread-earner of our home" before he started receiving a Junior Research Fellowship of Rs. 25,000.

"This is my mom's favorite occupation... she used to say 'machine' can make women powerful... she is a teacher now, she teaches sewing and embroidery to the women around...," he wrote.

In a more recent post, one of his last, Rohith wrote: "Objects in the mirror are (never) closer than they appear."

Rohith would have turned 27 on January 30. He had not received his fellowship money for seven months.

On Sunday, when his comrades were discussing a plan to escalate their protest, Rohith quietly walked into the hostel. Hours later, he was found hanging.

In a suicide note, Rohith spoke about "a growing gap between my soul and my body" and said: "My birth is my fatal accident. I can never recover from my childhood loneliness. The unappreciated child from my past."

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