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Assam: NIT-Silchar students hold protest over classmate's suicide

The students demand the sacking of the dean of academics, BK Roy.

SILCHAR: Students of the National Institute Of Technology, Silchar, on Monday staged a sit-in on the campus demanding the sacking of the dean of academics for his alleged role in the suicide of a student recently. A senior official said the stir, which began at 7.30 am, is still continuing. "The students are demanding the sacking of the dean of academics, BK Roy. They also want a high-level inquiry by experts from outside the campus into the incident," he added. The protest has been peaceful so far and no untoward incident has been reported, a police official said.

On September 15, an Arunachal Pradesh student was found hanging in his hostel room, the official said. Alleging that he was forced to die by suicide because of the actions of the college authorities, his classmates claimed that Roy had insulted the victim who got six backlogs in his first semester examinations, held online in 2021 because of the pandemic.

The deceased's classmates began a protest on September 16 that eventually turned violent, prompting police to lathicharge, in which 40 people were injured. Due to the Covid-19 lockdown, the victim was at home and failed to attend the online classes due to lack of internet connectivity, resulting in the backlogs, they claimed. He had appealed to the authorities to conduct a special examination so that he could clear the backlogs, but Roy allegedly disallowed it. Following this incident, he locked himself in his room and later his body was found hanging, they said. NIT-Silchar director Dilip Kumar Baidya said he has sympathy for the student who died, but he had a bad academic record.

Cachar district commissioner Rohan Kumar Jha visited the campus and formed a committee to investigate the incident. (If you are having suicidal thoughts, or are worried about a friend or need emotional support, someone is always there to listen. Call Sneha Foundation - 04424640050 (available 24x7) or iCall, the Tata Institute of Social Sciences' helpline - 02225521111, which is available Monday to Saturday from 8 am to 10 pm.) (THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS)