Mumbai: Even though more than 50 days have passed since the body of 18-year-old Darshan Solanki, an Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Bombay, student was found after he allegedly jumped off from the seventh floor of his hostel building, the Mumbai police are yet to reach a conclusion on the reason for his death. A delay in getting the results of the handwriting samples of the deceased found on an alleged suicide note has further slowed down the investigation.
On February 12, Solanki reportedly jumped off his hostel building at the prestigious IIT Powai campus. The initial probe by the Powai police pointed at a suicide case that took place due to academic stress. However, Solanki’s family and members of the Ambedkar Periyar Phule Study Circle (APPSC) began claiming casteist harassment of Darshan on campus. The institute management formed an internal probe committee that ruled out the caste harassment angle.
Special Investigation team formed
Following the uproar, the state government constituted a Special Investigation Team (SIT) led by Lakhmi Gautam to probe the death. Within three days, the SIT found an alleged suicide note on March 3, which had the words "Arman has killed me" written on a question sheet. Strangely till March 27 the SIT had strangely enough not disclored the find of the alleged suicide note. Another intriguing aspect of this case is that while the Police claimed that it did not find the suicide note, the SIT found it under the study table of Darshan on the first day of its investigation.
The note has been sent for forensic analysis and the police have been maintaining that the analysis of handwriting samples is essential to determine whether the writings found in the note were written by Darshan or not. Arman has been called for questioning for questioning by the SIT and allowed to go. What is surprising is that the report of the handwriting expert is taking so long to be submitted to the SIT. A handwriting expert, who wished to remain unidentified, told FPJ that the "report should not take so long."
FIR lodged after pressure from the family of deceased
Another student who was called to record his statement was the one who was talking on the phone on the eighth floor of the building and saw Solanki jump from his floor, the student has now become a prime witness in the case. The FIR of the father was also registered after considerable delay and that too after tremendous pressure was brought upon the police by the student's parents.
The police recorded the students' statements but informed that they still haven’t found any concrete information pertaining to the case. Police, on their part, maintained that preliminary investigation suggested that Darshan committed suicide due to his academic performance.
Family stands by caestist discrimination allegation
Meanwhile, the family of the deceased and the other students of the institute are anxiously awaiting for the case to be solved, the family, however, continues to stand by the caste discrimination allegation.