The incident triggered a massive protest by hundreds of students of the college who indulged in stone-pelting, accusing the management of being flippant and callous towards a dead student.
Pranay Kumar (20), a student of BE, Electronics and Communications, and a native of Prithivi Nagar in Patna, was found hanging from the ceiling fan hook in his room (No 111) on the first floor of the campus hostel, Girinagar police said.
The death came to light on Tuesday when Pranay did not respond to his parents’ repeated phone calls on Monday night. Anxious, they requested his friends Akshay and Animesh to look out for him.
On Tuesday, the duo went to his room, but the door was bolted from inside. When they peeped through the window, they found Pranay hanging from the ceiling.
They immediately alerted hostel warden Seetharaman who lives in Ram Rao Layout at Katriguppe. The warden alerted the college authorities and the jurisdictional police about Pranay’s death.
Though the suicide news spread around 7.45 am, the police said they officially received information only by 9.40 am. In the next one hour, the body was shifted to the Kempegowda Institute of Medical Sciences.
The college started functioning as usual on Tuesday. This led to anger among students who charged the management with disrespecting a student who had died. Hundreds of students assembled on the campus, shouting slogans against the management and the warden. It is said the students had been waiting for an opportunity to vent their ire against the management, which had been reportedly putting too much pressure on them to perform and “raise the bar and top the list.”
When the situation seemed to go out of hand, additional police forces were called in and senior officers rushed to the spot. Some students threw stones at the windowpanes and broke flowerpots. Some semblance of calm returned to the campus around 3.40 pm.
A dean is said to have admonished Pranay over his poor academic performance in a recent meeting.
“If you can cope with the studies, fine. Else, leave the campus and do what you want. Even if you want to commit suicide, do it outside the PESIT campus,” the dean is reported to have openly told Pranay.
No death note
Pranay had not left any death note. It is said that in the last few months, he was depressed over the poor marks he scored in the last semester examinations.
He was said to have expressed his inability to cope with the tight college schedule. On late Sunday evening, he had spoken to his cousin Aaisha, a resident of Bangalore, sources said.
There were also rumours on the campus that Pranay was addicted to drugs, but police said depression could have driven him to suicide.
Students claimed warden Seetharaman was reading a newspaper when Pranay’s body was still hanging in his room. However, the warden clarified he was on leave and had taken his cancer-stricken wife to Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu for medical treatment. He said he arrived in Bangalore only on Tuesday morning.
“Based on the warden’s complaint, we have taken up a case of unnatural death. As for the stone-pelting and chaotic scenes on the campus, the college authorities have not given any written complaint,” said the Girinagar police.
Police said Pranay’s parents, in a fax message, had given the go-ahead for post-mortem and requested them to hand over their son’s body to a relative. Accordingly, police handed over the body to Aaisha. Arrangements were also made to airlift the body.