IIT Madras Student found dead, fourth such suicide in the campus this year

In 2022, “there was a 4.5% increase in the cases of suicide amongst the students, according to NCRB.”
Photo : Hindustan Times
Photo : Hindustan Times

Lucknow. In what appears to be a case of suspected suicide, a IIT Madras Student Committed suicide in his hostel room. The deceased has been identified as Kedar Suresh, a 20-year old student belonging to Madhya Pradesh . Suresh was enrolled in the Second- year of B.Tech Chemical Engineering. This is the fourth suspected case of suicide this year. According to the sources, When Kedar did not come out of his room, the students informed the hostel warden, who informed the police and his room was broke open, and he was found hanging .

Before this , on March 31, Sachin Kumar a PhD scholar from West Bengal, enrolled in the Mechanical Engineering department died by suicide. Before committing suicide Sachin had updated his Whatsapp status with a cryptic message “ I am sorry, not good Enough”. The institute set up an internal inquiry committee to probe the matter. On th 6th of April, his brother Bhavesh Kumar had sent a written complaint to the director demanding an investigation against the people responsible for Sachin’s death. In his complaint Bhavesh alleged that the guide Professor Sen’s behavior could have led to the suicide.

Earlier, on March 14th Pushpak, a third-year B Tech student was found hanging in his Alaknanda hostel room of the the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras. The student who belonged to Andhra Pradesh allegedly wrote a note saying “don’t prosecute.” The institute formed an Internal Inquiry Committee, which included student representatives.

On February 13th, first suicide case in the campus this year was reported after Stephen Sunny, a 27-year-old research scholar from Maharashtra committed suicide. The local police blamed the latest suicide at IIT-Madras on “personal” reasons of the deceased. Notably, Darshan Solanki a first year student of IIT- Bombay had committed suicide a day earlier by jumping off the seventh floor of his hostel on February 12.

A Surge in Suicides this year

This year a number of sucides have taken place across the country in institutes of higher education and also coaching institutes. According to NCRB data, in 2022 the student suicides registered an increase of 4.5% and reached an all time high. In 2023 also there has been a spurt in cases of suicides in India.

12 February: Darshan Solanki, an 18-year-old Chemical Engineering student, allegedly committed suicide by jumping from the 7th floor of his hostel building. SIT formed to probe his death have recovered his suicide note, in which he apparently blamed his roommate Arman Iqbal khatri for the step. The SIT has arrested the accused student . Meanwhile, the parents of deceased are not satisfied with the SIT and say that Arman cannot be the only one responsible for the suicide.

20 February: A 19-year-old medical aspirant from a tribal community reportedly died by suicide in his house in Choolaimedu, Chennai. He was depressed, and he had put out a video message to his friends, saying that he had decided to end his life as as he could not choose the right path in education

27th February: Dharavath Preethi, a 26-year-old Tribal student pursuing her PG at Kakatiya Medical College, passed away after injecting herself at Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Hospital, where she was interning. Following a complaint by her father, Dr. Mohd Saif, a second-year student, was arrested, and charges of ragging, abetment to suicide, and harassment under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act were invoked against him.

6th March: Nikitha, a 13-year-old student studying in the seventh grade at a Telangana Social Welfare Residential School, was found hanging from a fan in Nagarkurnool district of Telangana..

“ The Socio-economic background contributes to the pressure.”

Speaking to The Mooknayak Shamal, a Mumbai based psychologist says “ Immediate factors are not responsible for the Suicides, there are various other preceding factors, they lots of pressure at the institutional and educational level. The way our educational institutes work, there is already a lot of pressure. The social economical background the students also contributes to these incidents. People coming from the marginalised groups face more challenges than the other.”

She says that there is no appropriate support system, for example lots of time there is discrimination on the basis of caste and gender, but there is no space to share this and because of this they face isolation complex that there is no one to support me or to understand me. She emphasised on the need to counsel the students coming from the third generation learners. There are also concerns related to concern of fees, etc. She pointed out that it needs to be seen, if there are sufficient counsellors in proportion to the number of students and do the Mental health services, that we have take the social context into consideration.”

Clearly, there are a lot of factors behind the suicide of students apart from the pressure to excel and social conditions play a role.

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