Madhuri`s suicide 8th incident in IIT-K in five years

The suicide of a final year B Tech student at IIT-Kanpur is the eighth such incident at the prestigious institute in the past five years.

Last Updated: Nov 18, 2010, 16:37 PM IST

Kanpur: The suicide of a final year B Tech
student at IIT-Kanpur is the eighth such incident at the
prestigious institute in the past five years.

Apart from 22-year-old Madhuri Sale, who was found
hanging from the ceiling fan of her hostel room yesterday,
seven other students of the college have taken their lives
since 2005.

On January 2009, a second year MTech student G Suman (24)
hanged himself, while in April 2008, first year BTech student
Prashant Kumar took his life, followed by Toya Chatterjee, who
was in fourth year of the same course, the next month.

J Bhardwaj killed himself in April 2007; Abhilash Pillai
took his life in November 2006, Shailesh Sharma in April 2006
and Swapnil Bhaskar in November 2005.

Everytime a student committed suicide, an inquiry
committee was set up by the institute to ascertain the cause
of the extreme step, but the findings were never made public.

Sanjeev Kashalkar, Registrar of IIT-Kanpur, told PTI that
the findings of these committees were discussed by the
institute`s board of directors which sent copies of the
reports to the advisory committee as well as the HRD Ministry.

However, the contents of these reports are not disclosed
to the media, he said, without giving reasons.

Apart from three teachers of the college, a member of the
students` union has also been included in each committee.

However, one such student told PTI on condition of anonymity
that student members of the inquiry committees are neither
called for any meeting nor are they informed about the
findings.

Such committees are just eyewash, he said, adding that
students do not question college authorities over the issue as
they fear that action could be taken against them.

Kashalkar said the previous inquiry reports state that
the students committed suicide as most of them were going
through stress and anxiety as a result of parental pressure
and career-related worries.

On the suicide committed at the institute`s premises
yesterday, he said Madhuri, who hailed from Andhra Pradesh,
was a good student and it is difficult to determine why she
took the extreme step.

However, he said that stress due to the ongoing
examinations could be a reason, though nothing can be said
till the committee constituted yesterday arrives at a
conclusion.

On being asked what steps the college has taken to reduce
stress among students to prevent such incidents, the Registrar
said apart from yoga and counselling centres, the institute
has two trained psychologists who can be approached by
students to share their problems.

PTI