Students at a premier engineering college in Assam on Monday staged a sit-in on the campus demanding the sacking of the dean of the academics for his alleged role in the suicide of a student recently.
The protests, which began at 7:30 am, took place at the National Institute Of Technology in Silchar.
Electric Engineering student Koj Buker, from Andhra Pradesh, was found dead in his hostel room on September 14.
The students allege that Buker was not allowed to go to the classes in fifth semester and was repeatedly insulted by the Dean of Academics, BK Roy, in front of the other students a few days back.
Last Friday, the students clashed with the police during an aggressive protest, forcing police to resort to lathicharge in which 40 people were injured.
“We want justice for Koj Buker and compensation for his family members. Koj was mentally and physically strong. He was not a drug addict. The NIT Silchar administration has given false allegation against him which was not justified. They said he was mentally unstable and a drug addict which was totally false,” said a protesting student.
NIT-Silchar director Dilip Kumar Baidya said he has sympathy for the student who died, but he had a bad academic record.
“We want resignation of Academic Dean BK Roy because the administration and him were responsible for his suicide. After his suicide, no one from the administration come to enquire about him. We want justice for our friend,” said another student.
The protesters also want a high-level inquiry by experts from outside the campus into the incident.
“We are very good friends and he was a very smiling face kind of a guy. After his mother’s death he got depressed and at the same time the six backlogs were slapped on him which has depressed him a lot. He appealed to the authorities to conduct a special examination so that he can clear the backlogs but the administration didn’t listen to his request and tear his application,” said a third-year student of Electric engineering department.
The classmates claimed that the Dean of Academics had insulted the victim who got six backlogs in his first semester examinations, held online in 2021 because of the pandemic.
Due to Covid lockdown, the victim was at home and failed to attend the online classes due to lack of internet connectivity, resulting in the backlogs, they claimed.
He had appealed to the authorities to conduct a special examination so that he could clear the backlogs, but the Dean of Academics allegedly disallowed it.
Following this incident, he locked himself in his room and was later found dead.