IIT Bombay 'suicide': Darshan Solanki's family refutes IIT's interim report; faculty, students speak up

IIT Bombay 'suicide': Darshan Solanki's family refutes IIT's interim report; faculty, students speak up

Allegations of caste discrimination in IIT had sprung up after Darshan's unfortunate death on campus. Subsequently, the IIT-B formed an in-house committee to investigate the possible causes which could have led to the student's death.

FPJ Education DeskUpdated: Wednesday, March 08, 2023, 01:39 PM IST
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Students gather at IIT Bombay in memory of 18-year-old student who died by suicide. | Twitter/@AppscIITb

Mumbai: The family of Darshan Solanki, an 18-year-old student who allegedly committed suicide at IIT Bombay, has issued a statement refuting the IIT's interim investigation report while questioning the investigation methodology used by IIT's 12 member probe panel.

"What kind of committee is this, that did not even come to Ahmedabad to hear our statements, nor did all of our people's statements get heard? Even Darshan's mother's statement was ignored; Darshan's aunt had previously told the media that he faced casteism; however, her words were not taken seriously too," read a statement released by Ramesh Solanki, Darshan's father.

Allegations of caste discrimination in IIT had sprung up after Darshan's unfortunate death on campus. Subsequently, the IIT-B formed an in-house committee to investigate the possible causes which could have led to the student's death.

The committee, on Monday, March 6, released the findings of their investigation in an interim report which dismissed all casteism claims while stating that ‘the despair of deteriorating academic performance appears to be a very strong reason which might have affected Darshan Solanki very seriously.’

Bashing the reports filed by the panel, Ramesh Solanki wrote, "It seems as if the committee had already decided on a conclusion. Are they trying to say that the child who passed the JEE exam twice without any coaching classes and got into IIT Bombay couldn't study?"

Once the report was shared with all students and faculty members at IIT, a professor from the institute's Humanities and Social Sciences Department also spoke out about the need to fix accountability for caste discrimination in response to the interim report.

In an email sent to all faculty on Tuesday night she stated, "The committee tends to assume that caste-discrimination comes distilled as isolable acts and/or slurs… that if no direct causative triggers can be found between such acts/slurs and a suicide, then no links exist between caste-discrimination and student-suicides."

The Ambedkar Periyar Phule Study Circle (APPSC), a student group within IIT Bombay, also released a statement calling the report 'whitewashed' while asking for external members to be a part of the probe committee.

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