NIT Durgapur Student Dies, Director Allegedly Forced To Resign; Institute Denies Claims

NIT Durgapur Student Dies, Director Allegedly Forced To Resign; Institute Denies Claims

Following Ghosh’s death, the students started agitating and demanding the resignation of Arvind Choubey, the director of NIT Durgapur, for academic burden and negligence that allegedly caused the student’s death. A video also went viral on Reddit, with hundreds of upvotes, in which the director is seen surrounded by the students demanding his resignation.

Sunidhi VijayUpdated: Tuesday, April 30, 2024, 02:02 PM IST
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NIT Durgapur campus | NIT Durgapur website

A student protest rocked the National Institute of Technology (NIT) in Durgapur, West Bengal after a second-year mechanical engineering student allegedly committed suicide in his hostel room. The students alleged that Arpan Ghosh (21) attempted suicide by hanging in his room due to academic pressure and died due to medical negligence.

It has also been alleged that Ghosh left a suicide note in his room, although its content has not been made public.

Ghosh was set to appear for his backlog examination on the evening he attempted suicide. “His friends found him inside the room and rushed him to a hospital, however, there was a lack of medical facilities on the part of management,” a student who wants to remain anonymous told The Free Press Journal (FPJ). The student further added that Ghosh was breathing when his friends found him.

“At NIT Durgapur, for every 5,000 people, there is only one ambulance. When we went to the medical unit of NIT Durgapur, the staff were busy filling out student details in the form. When the medical unit referred the student to another hospital, the college had only one ambulance and there was no oxygen facility in the medical unit,” said Jay Gupta, a final-year BTech student at NIT Durgapur, while discussing the chain of events leading to Ghosh’s death.

Gupta further alleged that the director reduced the number of ambulances on the campus in 2023. Gupta added that a similar incident also took place in 2016 when a student died due to a lack of medical care in the institute.

Ghosh was rushed to a private nursing home from the medical unit of NIT, where he was declared dead on arrival.

Following Ghosh’s death, the students started agitating demanding the resignation of Arvind Choubey, the director of NIT Durgapur for academic burden and negligence that allegedly caused the student’s death.

A video also went viral on Reddit, with hundreds of upvotes, in which the director is seen surrounded by the students demanding his resignation.

The students alleged that the director made unkind comments when they confronted him upfront about the lack of medical infrastructure.

“The director has made many changes in the institute and hence was not popular with the students right from the start. He dissolved the student body Gymkhana. For final-year students going for internships, the semester was supposed to be online to reduce academic pressure but he cancelled that. The stipend of the PG students was also reduced. There was no convocation ceremony held for the 2023 batch, which left them without their degrees. This incident (Ghosh’s death) was the final nail in the coffin," Gupta told the FPJ.

The FPJ also accessed a document, which the students claim is the resignation letter of Choubey. “I, Arvind Choubey, Director, NIT Durgapur, hereby take complete responsibility as the director of this institute, for whatever has happened on 28 April, 2024 (sic),” was found written there, although the FPJ has not verified its authenticity.

The alleged letter further mentioned the cause of death of the student, “He unfortunately passed away due to medical negligence and inadequacy on the behalf of NIT Durgapur administration. Hence, I hereby resign from the post of Director, NIT Durgapur with immediate effect as on the date 28/04/2024(sic).”

If you or anyone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts, seek help here:

If you or anyone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts, seek help here: | Mental Health Helpline

The NIT’s spokesperson, Prof. SK Rai denied that the director has resigned and said, “There is no official confirmation about the director’s resignation. We don’t have any official document of his resignation either”. He further added, “The postpartum of the student’s body will be performed today. Our thoughts are with the parents in these difficult hours.”

No comment was made by the spokesperson on the lack of medical infrastructure in the institute.

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