Mumbai: On Sunday, February 12, an 18-year-old Darshan Solanki jumped from the seventh floor of the hostel building in IIT Bombay triggering caste discrimation allegations from various student groups within the institute.
In a recent statement, the IIT strongly refuted these claims saying, "It is wrong to make such accusations when the police are still investigating the case. Based on initial inputs from friends, there is no indication that the student faced any such discrimination."
Darshan's family, however, spoke to media on Wednesday morning confirming the presence of caste bias within the institute. Darshan's peers allegedly changed their behaviour towards him once they found out that Darshan belonged to a scheduled caste, said his sister Jhanvi Solanki while talking to NDTV.
His mother believed that Darshan was being tortured while his Aunt disclosed that many students did not like that he studied for free, reported NDTV.
This comes after a student group at IIT-B called Darshan's death an 'institutional murder' while claiming that the administration failed to make IIT Bombay inclusive for students from marginalized communities, who face the most harassment.
Not academic stress, says father
A day after Darshan died by suicide, Rameshbhai Solanki, his father, spoke to the Free Press Journal, "Darshan has been a bright boy since the beginning, he topped every class he was in. He couldn't have done this because of academic pressure, he always loved to study engineering," he said.
Darshan, who had only spent three months on the campus, was a Btech fresher, from the 2022-26 batch of Chemistry Engineering. His father had already booked a train ticket to Mumbai for Monday, to bring Darshan back home for his month-long semester break which follows the exams.
"We spoke to him nearly an hour on the same day he committed suicide and he seemed perfectly alright. He was a quiet child without many friends but he never told us about any trouble, bullying, or fights at college," said Rameshbhai.
As per Powai Police, the probe into the matter is still underway and they are yet to ascertain a cause behind this unfortunate incident.
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