Published: 22nd October 2022
Students demand resignation of Director after death of student at IIT Kharagpur
Students of IIT Bombay have now announced solidarity with the protesting students at IIT Kharagpur. Say 'IITs have become graveyards for students'
Protests have erupted at the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur (IIT-K) after the death of a student, allegedly by suicide, came to light last week, on October 14. The students are now demanding the resignation of the Director, Virendra Tewari, after the incident.
Students gheraoed the office of the Director for over 10 hours on October 21, Friday. The 23-year-old third-year student of BTech Mechanical Engineering was found dead in his hostel room on October 14 in a decomposing state. Today, October 22, IIT Kharagpur's Deputy Director Amit Patra issued an apology, taking responsibility for the death of the student, and "lapses in the handling of the situation", as per media reports.
"While we are working to devise solutions for such loopholes, so that incidents as such do not occur in the future, the conditions that arose in the aftermath of the reporting of the incident were unprecedented and the response to them was inappropriate in particular instances by the administrative body,” said the Deputy Director, in a press release.
Earlier this week, on October 20, Thursday, the Chief Minister of Assam, Himanta Biswa Sarma wrote to the Chief Minister of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee requesting her intervention in the matter and demanded a thorough investigation into the student's death, reported Indian Express. On the other hand, the student's parents have claimed that their son "did not die a natural death" and advised parents to be "vigilant" after their wards go off to higher educational institutions.
Students of IIT Bombay have now announced solidarity with the protesting students at IIT Kharagpur. "We stand in solidarity with the protesting students of IIT Kharagpur. IITs becoming graveyards for students," said the Twitter handle of the Ambedkar Periyar Phule Study Circle at IIT Bombay's Twitter handle.
The incident at IIT Kharagpur is the second death reported from an IIT this week. It was only on Monday, October 10, that a student of IIT Guwahati was found dead inside his hostel room, apparently by suicide. IIT Guwahati had said in a statement that a 20-year-old fifth-year BTech student had been asked to vacate his hostel room after the student was terminated from his course due to "poor academic performance".
That had been the second case of death by suicide at IIT Guwahati in October. In September, IITs Kanpur, Hyderabad and Madras reported instances of students dying by suicide.