IIT Bombay suicide case: Family's request for FIR alleging son died due to caste discrimination denied as SIT investigation underway

IIT Bombay suicide case: Family's request for FIR alleging son died due to caste discrimination denied as SIT investigation underway

According to the Solanki family, they had hoped the SIT will carry out a proper investigation as foul play and caste discrimination are suspected

Sherine RajUpdated: Thursday, March 16, 2023, 09:47 PM IST
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FPJ

Mumbai: Darshan Solanki's family from Gujrat reached Powai police station on Thursday afternoon to file a complaint alleging that caste discrimination led to their son's death.

Their request, however, was denied as the investigation is being carried out by the Special Investigation Team (SIT).

According to the Solanki family, they had hoped the SIT will carry out a proper investigation as foul play and caste discrimination are suspected. However, after the internal committee report of IIT-B ruled out the caste discrimination angle in the case, Darshan's father Ramesh said they had to make a formal complaint to investigate the casteism aspect of the case. The family was accompanied by over 100 protestors of the community, along with some students of IIT-B who also alleged casteism.

“Want to file an FIR as we suspect foul play," says Solanki's family

Ramesh said the incident is being projected as a suicide as less than an hour before his death, Darshan had informed him of his plans to go out with his wingmates. “I want to file an FIR as we suspect foul play as Darshan suffered constant caste-based discrimination, which the institute allowed to continue on the campus,” he said. Ramesh further alleged that his son's death is a murder committed at the hands of those harassing and discriminating against him on the basis of caste.

The family met the police officials at Powai police station but were informed that an FIR will not be taken as the SIT is already investigating the case. The 12-member internal committee of the institute which was set up to inquire into the death of the 18-year-old BTech student, submitted its interim report last week which implied that Solanki's “poor academic performance” and “aloofness” could have led him to end his life.

Caste discrimination, a reality

One of the IIT-B students told FPJ that caste discrimination is a reality in the institute and that the SC-ST student cell on campus is not very helpful. “Caste discrimination is not only done by the students by asking the rank of the other students but it is also done by the faculty members. Sometimes the students get so depressed that they even consider reappearing for the exam to get better ranks, so that people may not think of them as a person from a scheduled caste if they get a good rank,” said the student.

Another student added that the student cell on the campus has no clear mandates and no standard procedure is followed. “It should be regularised and students should be able to approach this cell and get timely guidance to avoid such tragic incidents,” the student said.

Meanwhile, a police officer said the case is being investigated by the SIT and if there is any foul play, it will be looked into.

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