Friday, March 31, 2023

Student dies in IIT Bombay; Suicide, caste discrimination alleged

An 18-year-old student of IIT Bombay died apparently after he jumped from the seventh floor of his hostel building at the institute’s campus in Powai on Sunday afternoon. There was no suicide note and the police have registered a case of accidental death. Investigations, though are on, with a student group alleging that he was driven to suicide due to discrimination against Scheduled Caste students on the campus, reports India News.
The police said Darshan Solanki, a BTech student, was from Ahmedabad. He had enrolled for the course three months ago and his first semester exams concluded on Saturday. The Powai police are trying to find out if pressure of studies drove the student to take the extreme step.
In a note to students, Institute Director Subhasis Chaudhuri said: “We regret to inform the loss of a first-year student in a tragic incident this afternoon. Powai police is investigating the case. The parents of the student have been informed and they are on their way. We deeply mourn the death of the student and pray that the family gets the strength to bear this loss. May his soul rest in peace.”
The APPSC (Ambedkar Periyar Phule Study Circle) IIT Bombay, tweeted: “We mourn the loss of an 18 year old dalit student, Darshan Solanki, who joined @iitbombay 3 months back for his BTech. We must understand that this is not a personal/individualised issue, but an institutional murder”.
IIT-B condoles death of Dalit student, orders probe
The IIT-Bombay on Monday condoled the death by suicide of B.Tech. First Year Dalit student, Darshan Solanki, terming it as “a great loss to the family and to the IITB community.
In its first reaction, the IIT-B said: “It is unfortunate that such a loss could not be prevented despite the efforts of the Institute and Student Mentors to support our students. A committee has been constituted to investigate the incident.”
The IIT-B held a condolence meeting and observed two minutes of silence in memory of the departed soul, said a spokesperson. In a shocking incident, Solanki, 18, jumped to his death from the 7th floor of his hostel building in the Powai Campus on Sunday afternoon, after his first semester exams for the Chemical Engineering course a day earlier.
According to certain reports, Solanki reportedly did not heed warning shouts from other co-students who noticed him just before he took the plunge to death.
“While we cannot change what has already happened, we will further increase our efforts to prevent such events in future. We pray that his family gets the strength to bear this loss. The Institute is with his family at this difficult time. We deeply mourn the tragic loss of Darshan’s life,” said the IIT-B.
Earlier on Monday, a student group, the Ambedkar Periyar Phule Study Circle-IITB had pointed fingers at the IIT-B for alleged discrimination prevalent on the Powai Campus against students from reserved categories, various lapses on the part of the management to address their distress, etc., and sought redressal.


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