In Rohith Vemula's Suicide Note, A Scratched Paragraph Raises Questions

A paragraph has been struck off Rohith Vemula's suicide note

Hyderabad: In the turmoil over the suicide of Hyderabad university research student Rohith Vemula, his last letter has thrown up a mystery. An entire paragraph has been scratched off and experts are investigating who did it.

The letter found from the hostel room in the Hyderabad Central University where Rohith hanged himself on Sunday, has been sent for forensic analysis.

There is a possibility that it was Rohith who struck off the paragraph, because of a line written in a bracket next to it: "I myself strike these words off." It is signed, purportedly by him.

"The letter was sent to forensic lab for handwriting match and other analysis. It will take a few days to get the report," Press Trust of India quoted police sources as saying.

There is speculation that the deleted words are about Rohith's disillusionment with his own union, the Ambedkar Students' Association.

What has intensified the mystery is the fact that the 26-year-old's body was found almost six hours after his death. The gap is unexplained till now.

Rohith Vemula hung himself with a banner of his union on Sunday, two weeks after he and four other students were suspended and banned from the hostel, the cafeteria and other common areas for allegedly beating an activist of a rival student union in August. The five students had been living outside the campus in a tent.

The suicide has set off a political row with students and the opposition alleging that he was subjected to caste discrimination. A police complaint accuses union minister Bandaru Dattatreya and another BJP lawmaker of driving Rohith to suicide by compelling the university to punish him. Vice Chancellor Appa Rao Podile has also been named.

On Thursday, the university revoked the suspension of Rohith's comrades, hours after 15 Dalit teachers resigned accusing Union Education Minister Smriti Irani of distorting the facts related to the suicide. Ms Irani had alleged a misrepresentation of facts and proclaimed that the tragedy had nothing to do with a caste battle.