Kanpur: A fourth-year B Tech (civil engineering) student of Indian Institute of Technology-Kanpur (IIT-K) reportedly committed suicide in her hostel room on Wednesday afternoon. Madhuri Sale, 21, is said to have hanged herself with a rope from the ceiling fan.
Eight students, including two women, have committed suicide in the institute in the past five years.
Though it is not clear why Sale committed suicide, IIT-K authorities suspect she was under pressure because of her poor performance in exams, coupled with the fact the campus placement process is just a forthnight away.
No suicide note has been found in the hostel room of Sale, a resident of Nalgonda district in Andhra Pradesh.
The institute has constituted a four-member committee headed by Professor Omkar Dixit to probe the incident. The committee is expected to hand over the report in the next five days.
The semester exams began on November 15 and the last paper is scheduled for November 22. There was no examination on November 17 as the institute was closed for Eid. On Wednesday morning, the cleaning staff knocked her door around 11:30 am but got no response. Believing that she was busy, they went back. When the staff returned at 2:30 pm. the door was still locked and there was no response.
They got suspicious and informed IIT-K director Sanjay Govind Dhande. Security guards broke open the door to find Sale hanging from the ceiling fan.
Three days before her suicide, on November 14, Sale had celebrated her birthday in the institute with her hostel friends. She was an average student, and had a cumulative performance index (CPI) of 5.6 out of 10. The performance of each IIT-K student is adjudged on the basis of the CPI.
Institute registrar Sanjeev S Kashalkhar said: "On November 16 evening, Sale had spoken to her mother and said she might have to stay here for one more semester." Kashalkar said prima facie it appeared that Sale had performed poorly in the first two exams of her seventh semester. He did not deny Sale might have been under the pressure due to the placement process.
DIG Kanpur Ashok Mutha Jain said: "Prima facie it appears to be suicide, but the postmortem will confirm the cause of death."
Nov 17, 2010: Madhuri Sale, B.Tech
Jan 3, 2009: Gangapatnam Suman, M.Tech
May 30, 2008: Toya Chatterjee, B.Tech
April 18, 2008: Prashant Kumar Kureel, B.Tech
April 25, 2007: J Bharadwaj, B.Tech
May 3, 2006: Shailesh Kumar Sharma, B.Tech
Nov 30, 2005: Swapnil Chandrakant Bhaskar, B.Tech
Nov 6, 2005: Abhilash, PhD