IIT-Delhi Witness Second Dalit Student Suicide in Two Months
Another Dalit student allegedly took his own life in the Indian Institute of Technology- Delhi on Friday September 1. The victim, identified as 21-year-old Anil Kumar, a final-year B.Tech student according to police was on extension as he failed to clear some exams. The police were alerted to the incident through a PCR call around 6 p.m. on Friday. The caller reported the suicide of Anil Kumar. Upon arriving at the scene, law enforcement officers encountered a locked door, prompting them to forcibly enter the room, only to discover the lifeless body of the young student suspended from the ceiling.
This event has reignited concerns over the well-being of marginalized students within India’s prestigious educational institutions, specifically the Indian Institutes of Technology. The Ambedkar Phule Periyar Student Circle (APPSC) at IIT Bombay has strongly criticized the administration of these institutions, holding them accountable for their perceived indifference to such incidents and the institutional failure to create safe and inclusive spaces for marginalized students.On their official Twitter account, the APPSC issued a poignant statement: “How many more Aniket, Darshan, Ayush, and Anil? Why are IITs becoming graveyards for students from marginalized communities? Both IIT Bombay and IIT Delhi have SC ST cells, yet both fail to implement reservation or protect the students.”
This is also the second suicide within the Mathematics department of IIT Delhi in just two months, with both victims belonging to the Scheduled Caste (SC) community. The APPSC has further raised concerns about the insufficient representation of SC, ST, and OBC faculty members across various departments of these institutions, pointing out potential violations of reservation norms in faculty recruitment process. The Quint, earlier this year, reported that caste discrimination was a significant factor contributing to suicides among SC/ST students studying in prestigious institutions across India, including IITs and government universities. These allegations of discrimination extend beyond students, encompassing faculty members from marginalized communities as well.
Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan preciously had disclosed alarming statistics to Lok Sabha members. He stated that between 2014 and 2021, a total of 122 students tragically lost their lives to suicide at various central universities, including IITs, IIMs, and NITs. Among these tragic cases, almost 68 students hailed from reserved categories.