A 20-year-old third-year BTech student from Andhra Pradesh, studying in the electrical engineering department at IIT-Madras, was found dead in his hostel room on Tuesday in an apparent suicide, according to police. He was found hanging in his room.
Soon after the incident, a Twitter user shared a clip, saying: “An IITM prof seeks to “educate” to defend against “attacks” on IIT’s reputation. Shows the attitude of IIT Madras which is dismissive of any allegation against its failure as an institute to ensure dignity and safety of its students and faculty.”
The police officer investigating the matter revealed that the preliminary investigation indicated that the student might have been struggling with academic tasks and focusing on his studies, reported news agency PTI. Further comments will only be made after the completion of the investigation and autopsy. This incident occurred just a month after a post-graduate student of engineering at IIT Madras died by suicide on February 14. In that case, too, the 24-year-old student was found hanging from the ceiling of his room. His suicide note recovered by the police read “don’t prosecute”.
IIT-Madras released a statement expressing their deep sorrow about the student’s passing. They acknowledged that the post-Covid environment has been challenging and that they are continually striving to improve and maintain the well-being of students, scholars, faculty, and staff on campus.
An internal inquiry committee, which includes elected student representatives, has been formed to investigate such incidents. The statement also requested that the privacy of the student’s family be respected, and extended their condolences to the student’s friends and family.
IIT-Madras has seen 14 suicides in the last 10 years, the highest compared to any other IIT. Due to this, student groups staged protests last month, accusing the campus administration of doing little to curb the number of suicides.