The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) has been dogged by students taking their lives, be it due to the pressure of their coursework or for personal reasons. The latest incident has been reported from IIT-Kanpur, where a third-year Ph.D. mechanical engineering student allegedly killed himself in his hostel room Wednesday, April 18.
Bhim Singh, from Faridabad near Delhi, is said to have locked himself up in his room for the entire day. When his hostel mates realized that he had been cooped up all day, they knocked at his door but got no answer. They then told the warden of the hostel who in turn informed the police. The cops then broke down the door and found the student's body hanging from the ceiling fan, reported the New Indian Express.
The body has now been taken into police custody and Singh's parents have been informed of the student's death. It is not known why Singh took his life, but the police have reportedly recovered a torn-up suicide note. The forensics team is now examining the note.
"A letter, which appears to be a suicide note, has been recovered and is now in the possession of the forensic team of the police," the institute's director Manindra Agarwal told NIE. He also said that the time of the death isn't known and the details will be made available only after an autopsy is conducted.
"It is not clear when did the student commit suicide. The exact time of his death would be known after postmortem examination," he explained.
The body is yet to be sent for autopsy and station house officer Satish Kumar Singh said that this will be done only after the parents arrive in Kanpur Thursday.
This is the second incident of an IIT student killing himself in less than a week. On April 13, a first-year student of IIT-Delhi allegedly killed himself by hanging from the ceiling fan in his hostel room. The deceased was identified as Gopal Maloo from West Bengal.
His death came to light when one of his friends found him hanging and alerted other residents of the Nilgiri hostel and the police.
"The deceased was a first-year student of IIT-Delhi. We received a call around 8 am from the college that a student had committed suicide by hanging himself from the ceiling fan of his hostel room," Hindustan Times quoted said deputy commissioner of police (south west) Milind Mahadeo Dumbere, as saying.
The police also said that they have recovered a suicide note from Maloo's room and said that the student did not take the step due to the pressure of the course he was pursuing at the institute. The 21-year-old reportedly mentioned that he was sexually abused for several years by his cousins and he was still fighting to get over the traumatic experience.
Several students of the IITs have taken their lives before, many due to the course pressure.
Concerned by the rising number of such cases, IIT-Delhi had decided to revamp its curriculum. The institute said that it would now plan a curriculum that helps students tackle the academic pressure, which in turn is likely to curb suicidal tendencies.
The new curriculum that is expected to be adopted this year onwards will focus on more practical classes and hands-on experience rather than theory classes.