Calcutta HC raps IIT-Kharagpur on student death, seeks report from Director

The Calcutta High Court on Thursday came down heavily on the authorities of the Indian Institute of Technology- Kharagpur while hearing a case of death of a second-year student of the institute earlier this year, and raised questions on what steps have the authorities taken on what appears to the court to be a clear case of “ragging”.

Justice Rajasekhar Mantha of the Calcutta High Court said in the order that the court is interested to know as to what steps have been taken by the said wardens and the management of the IIT and directed the Director of IIT Kharagpur, VK Tewari to file a report and name the students involved, in the report.

“The Director of IIT Kharagpur shall file a report before this court on the adjourned date in this regard. The students involved in the ‘ragging’ shall be named by the Director in his report,” the order said.

The court also pointed out that the ‘warning’ issued to the students involved in ragging does not appear to be in consonance or in compliance with the directions of the Supreme Court, referring to three orders by the apex court.

The High Court is hearing a petition filed by the parents of Faizan Ahmed, a 23-year-old mechanical engineering student who was found dead in a hostel room at the institute on October 14. The authorities had initially said the student, an Assam native , died by suicide. However, the family members of the student alleged foul play and referred to a deleted post on Facebook claiming that the student was ‘ragged’.

Last week the High Court had directed Paschim Medinipur Superintendent of Police to appoint a “competent” police officer to probe the death of the student. “The Additional Superintendent of Police, Paschim Medinipur is requested to leave no stone unturned and explore all and every avenues to ascertain the truth behind the death of Faizan Ahmed,” Justice Mantha said in the order.

The High Court also directed that the Director, Forensic Science Laboratory, Kolkata shall ensure that the report in respect of the viscera of Faizan Ahmed, is supplied to the Additional SP, immediately, but not later than Monday (November 14). The matter will come up for hearing again on November 22.

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