IIT Madras students wish stricter punishment for Prof Ashish Sen, but are happy with inquiry process

The suspension was meted out by the institute's Board of Governors (BoG), based on the report submitted by an external committee
File photo of IIT Madras | (Pic: Express)
File photo of IIT Madras | (Pic: Express)

Professor Ashish Sen of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras has been found responsible for PhD student Sachin Jain's suicide, who took his own life on March 31 this year. The IIT, in a statement, confirmed that the professor has been suspended. However, the students are not satisfied with the suspension.

The suspension was meted out by the institute's Board of Governors (BoG), based on the report submitted by a three-member committee that was constituted to inquire into the allegations related to Sachin's suicide. "We have mixed feelings towards the punishments recommended by the committee, which in our view is the bare minimum for causing the death of a student," the students wrote in a statement today, November 28, Tuesday, shared on social media.

"We still believe that a strong punishment to the people responsible will stay as a warning to many faculties who are following the path of Ashish Sen," the student bodies add. Nonetheless, they have appreciated the student-centric approach made by the institute and the committee in inquiring about the matter.

"The recommendations of the committee still give hope to a lot of students that their voices will be heard and there are people who will support them against unjust treatment. It also serves as a warning to the faculties who think that they are safe from any prosecution because the student ultimately has to go in front of a committee or grievance mechanism that consists of their peers. Such an external enquiry committee by itself is a warning to such bad nuts who have infiltrated among the good faculties and has convinced them that the faculties must protect each other," the statement says.

"We call upon the good faculties of IIT Madras to isolate such people on campus so that no more student will have to face the same issues faced by Sachin. While we respect the fact that PhD is important for any student, we express our extreme disappointment in the stand taken by some of the colleagues of Sachin after his death," it reads further.

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