Silchar NIT students protest, demand dean’s resignation over campus suicide
The dean has denied allegations that he has a history of harassing students and alleged protesting students tried to kill him and his family on Friday
Hundreds of engineering students at the National Institute of Technology (NIT) campus in Assam’s Silchar are on a 12-hour hunger against the alleged harrassment of students by the institute’s dean of academics.
Following the death of third year electrical engineering student by suicide inside the campus on Friday evening, students staged a protest over the weekend, which turned violent, police said. They allegedly also vandalised the residence of BK Roy, the dean at the centre of the controversy.
As many as 40 students were injured in the subsequent lathi-charge carried out by the police. Three cases were registered against the students, one suo moto by police, one by the NIT authorities and another by a group of journalists for allegedly vandalising public property and attacking them.
However, no student has been arrested yet and the superintendent of police of Cachar district Numal Mahatta said that they offered an unconditional apology to after the unruly protests.
Peaceful protests have continued on the campus including a candle-light march inside the campus on Saturday.
Protesting students begun a hunger strike from Monday morning, saying they will continue to do so every 12 hours until their demand is met.
“Professor BK Roy harrassed many students .... the deceased could not handle it and committed suicide. Now they are blaming that he was drug addict. We strongly condemn this and we want professor Roy to resign,” a students’ representative said.
The representative added that the student who died by suicide was “mentally stable”.
“We are demanding justice and our protests are democratic. This (the protest) will continue until justice is served”.
Roy however denied the allegations and said that students tried to kill him and his family at his home on Friday night and he hid in a toilet to avoid being attacked.
KL Baishnab, registrar at NIT, said the electrical engineering student failed in seven out of eight papers in the first semester, two in the third and five in the fourth semester.
“In four semesters he failed in 14 papers and we cannot allow someone with this many backlogs to the next semester. We suggested him to clear the backlogs before moving to fifth semester; nobody harassed him,” he said.
After the Friday night violence, a company of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and Assam police were deployed at the NIT campus.
Dilip Kumar Baidya, director of NIT, could not be contacted as he is said to have left for Kolkata on Monday.
If you need support or know someone who does, please reach out to your nearest mental health specialist.
Helplines: Aasra: 022 2754 6669;
Sneha India Foundation: +914424640050 and Sanjivini: 011-24311918,
Roshni Foundation (Secunderabad) Contact Nos: 040-66202001, 040-66202000,
ONE LIFE: Contact No: 78930 78930, SEVA: Contact No: 09441778290