Pushed allegedly by his college to perform better, a 19-year-old engineering student committed suicide early on Tuesday in his hostel room.
The college, PES Institute of Technology (PESIT), witnessed riotous scenes later in the day and police had to be called in to control irate students. Pranay Singh, a Bihar native and third-semester electronics and communication engineering student, was found hanging from the ceiling fan of his PESIT hostel room number 101 at 6.30am. Pranay’s classmates produced before mediapersons a letter that was sent by the college to Suresh Prasad Singh, Pranay’s father, with his marksheet. Singh had been asked to meet the HoD to discuss his son’s performance. College, however, denied any pressure on Pranay to perform.
The suicide had tempers flying in the college since morning, as mournful students milled about the campus. The failure of police to bring down the boy’s body from the ceiling fan and the delay in handing over the body to his cousin, Aisha, added to the students’ anger. Tempers ran out of control once Pranay’s body was handed over to Aisha at 10am. The students pushed the police officers outside the college gate, and threw stones at glass windows on the campus. Police reinforcements were rushed and the protest brought under control around 1pm.
Founder and chairman of PES Group of Institutions, MR Doreswamy, said the college should not be blamed for the extreme step taken by a “weakhearted student”.
Engg student shifted to single room last week. Was Pranay Singh, the III semester engineering student who ended his life in his hostel room on Tuesday, contemplating suicide for some time? He was facing alleged pressure from his college, PESIT, to perform better, Pranay’s friends believe he had planned it all in advance. Pranay had requested a week ago that he be shifted from a shared room to a single one in the PESIT hostel. He committed suicide within days of moving into the new room.
After Pranay’s body was found, students alerted his local guardian and police. But the body was not removed soon, adding to frayed tempers. The protest started after Pranay’s cousin Aisha came to the hostel to receive the body. She had to wait for more than an hour before the body was brought down from the ceiling fan. Police told the students they were waiting for the officers concerned to arrive.
By then, tempers had run out of control. Students pushed the police officers out of the college and took control of the campus. They threw stones at glass windows and shattered glasses of the main office building. Hundreds of students gathered on campus and marched towards the office of the CEO, M Jawahar.
The protest could be brought under control only around 1pm, after two platoons of KSRP marched in.
HE WAS WEAK-HEARTED: COLLEGE
Founder and chairman of PES Group of Institutions MR Doreswamy said the college shouldn’t be blamed for the extreme step taken by a “weak-hearted” student. He said all tutorials and examinations conducted by the college were based on VTU directives.
“It is an unfortunate event. The student has not left behind any suicide note so it is not possible to conclude that this or that is the reason for his death. His academic report had been consistently poor. We did our best to help him in his studies but never expected him to take such an extreme step,” he said.
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