IIT Student Jumps To Death; Was Suicide Driven By Caste Discrimination?

Mumbai: An IIT Bombay student died after jumping from the seventh floor of his hostel building at the institute’s campus in Powai on Sunday.

Police have registered a case of accidental death as no suicide note was found, reported NDTV.

But a students’ group alleged that the student, identified as Darshan Solanki, was driven to suicide due to discrimination against Scheduled Caste students.

The 18-year-old Solanki, from Ahmedabad, was a first year B Tech student. His first semester exams concluded on Saturday.

Powai police is trying to ascertain if pressure of studies or any other factor forced Solanki to take the extreme step.

“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,” IIT-B Director Subhasis Chaudhuri stated in a note to students.

Ambedkar Periyar Phule Study Circle (APPSC) IIT Bombay alleged the death of Solanki, who they claimed was a Dalit, was ‘an institutional murder’.

“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,” tweeted APPSC.

“Despite our complaints the institute did not care to make the space inclusive and safe for dalit bahujan adivasi students. First-year students face the most harassment in terms of anti-reservation sentiments and taunts of non-deserving and non-meritorious. There is a lack of representation of faculty and counsellors from the marginalized,” read another tweet.

APPSC also alleged in an Instagram post that it is “no hidden fact that students from the SC/ST community face immense harassment and discrimination on the campus from students, faculties and employees.”

The post also mentioned reservations are “equated with lack of merit” in IIT Bombay campus.

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