By Muslim Mirror Staff
A 21-year-old Dalit student, identified as Anil Kumar, pursuing his final year of B.Tech at the Indian Institute of Technology-Delhi (IIT-Delhi), took his own life on September 1, 2023.
This event marks the second reported suicide on the IIT-Delhi campus within just two months. On July 10, Ayush Ashna, a tribal student who was pursuing a B.Tech degree in Mathematics, also ended his life in a suicide attempt.
The Ambedkar Phule Periyar Student Circle (APPSC) released a statement expressing deep sorrow over Anil Kumar’s death and drawing attention to the alarming trend of suicides among students from marginalized communities.
“You can theorise on our deaths as much, and our experience but it is us who put our academics and mental health on toll every day as people, young students from our community pass away,” the APPSC said.
Anil Kumar was reportedly on academic extension due to difficulties in clearing certain exams.
A senior police official involved in the investigation said, “On verification of facts, it was revealed that the deceased was pursuing B.Tech in Mathematics and Computing (session 2019-2023). He was on extension as he did not complete some subjects and was residing in the hostel on a six-month extension.”
This incident has prompted many to question the effectiveness of the SC ST (Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe) cells established at IIT-Delhi and other prestigious institutions. The IIT Bombay’s APPSC, in a social media post, raised concerns about the lack of proper implementation of reservation policies and the absence of SC ST faculty members in departments where these students study.
“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,” read a social media post by IIT Bombay’s APPSC.
Furthermore, they cited RTI (Right to Information) data to highlight a glaring lack of progress in ensuring representation and inclusivity for marginalized communities within the IITs, suggesting that these institutions are still far from becoming inclusive spaces for Dalit, Bahujan, and Adivasi students.