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Thursday, June 16, 2011

105 - 6th May 2011 - Day after suicide at IIT-M, blame game on- TOI

A Selvaraj and Ishan Srivastava May 6, 2011, 12.51am IST
 
CHENNAI: Nitin Kumar Reddy's friends were still in shock a day after his suicide. His father Lakshmanamurthy, in his police complaint against the IIT-M administration and his son's project guide, has said that his son called him in his mobile on Wednesday afternoon before he died. He sounded depressed. Lakshmanamurthy pacified his son over the phone and assured that he will visit him in Chennai and talk to his guide and professors about the problem.

Lakshmanamurthy said in his complaint that he informed his relative Sudhakar Reddy who was also the local guardian of his son. He asked Sudhakar Reddy to go see his son. But it was already too late. Nitin's hostel warden, professor Sathyanarayanan, called Lakshmanamurthy and asked him to rush to Chennai at once. Fearing the worst, Lakshmanamurthy rushed to Delhi airport when Sudhakar Reddy called him and said Nitin was dead. ( IIT student commits suicide on campus )

Lakshmanamurthy has said that the IIT-M administration and Nitin's guide PV Manivannan should have informed him and his son earlier about the delay in filing the project. He said that Nitin had been told suddenly at the very end that his project would be extended.

Based on the complaint, the police have registered a case under Section 174 (unnatural death) of Criminal Procedure Code. "We will pursue and alter the case after detailed interrogation," a police officer said.

Meanwhile, the family members and the relatives of the victim Nitin Kumar Reddy staged a protest at Government Hospital in Royapettah demanding action against the IIT-M officials. But they were pacified by police personnel.

Nitin's body was handed over to his parents after an autopsy, who took it to Kuthalapattu near Chittoor in Andhra Pradesh.

When asked as to what the Institute in general and Guidance and Counselling Unit (GCU) in particular was doing to address the situation and to improve the response against such incidents, dean of students Govardhan M said, "Why are you always reporting negative news about IIT Madras? We also have the maximum number of patents but you didn't report that. But you would want to report the death of 3 out of 5000 students which is statistically not important. Why don't you go to other engineering institutes and find out how many died there. Why only IIT?"

He went on to say, "Do you know the student who died yesterday had a medical history of psychological problems from childhood? But obviously you don't want to investigate." But he quickly corrected the "childhood" part to say, "We have come to know from his friends that when he could not clear JEE in an attempt, he went into depression."