IIT Delhi suicide victim faced mental harassment from guide, his parents allege

APPSC IIT Delhi says that it would demand an internal investigation into the suicide and these allegations, and fight against this matter being swept under the rug 
Here's what students say | (Pic: EdexLive)
Here's what students say | (Pic: EdexLive)

Ahead of the Open House at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi on student suicides following the death of Varad Sanjay Nerkar, an MTech student from the institute, it is now alleged that he faced mental harassment from his faculty guide. 

These allegations were brought to the fore by the Ambedkar Periyar Phule Study Circle at IIT Delhi (APPSC IIT Delhi), an independent student collective that fights for the rights of students from caste, religious, and gender minorities on campus. 

“Varad died of suicide they say, but it is also known that Varad was being routinely mentally harassed by his assigned supervisor. While we agree that student suicides are common across general category students too, we must acknowledge the ‘intersection’ of identities and the role they play in higher education. Varad was an OBC,” the collective wrote on their Instagram account. 

Speaking to EdexLive, members of APPSC IIT Delhi said that Varad’s father made these allegations. “When we tried to look into the matter ourselves, many of the department’s students and Varad’s classmates hinted at the same,” a member alleged. 

Another member adds that there was no other logical explanation for him taking his life so suddenly. “He was a good student with an average CGPA of 9. He even got a lucrative placement offer. His suicide could not be pinned to academic pressure or bad performance in exams,” they claim. 

Varad was the fourth student of IIT Delhi to die by suicide in the last few months. According to the members of APPSC IIT Delhi, his death sparked outrage among the student body at large. 

“Even the students are fed up with the rising cases of suicide, and apathy from the administration. Students came in huge numbers to protest against the administration’s insensitivity, and to say that we refuse to normalise student suicides in IITs,” a member claims. 

The member adds that APPSC would ask several pertinent questions about the inaction from the director and the administration against student suicides, and raise a few demands to prevent the same at the Open House, which would be held tomorrow, February 20. They add that they would demand that IIT Delhi also conduct an internal inquiry into the allegations. 

"We are also waiting until concrete evidence of discrimination emerges. Until then, we will fight against this incident and make sure it is not being swept under the rug," the member says.

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