Dalit JNU scholar found dead, family demands CBI probe

Dalit JNU scholar found dead, family demands CBI probe
A Dalit research scholar at JNU, who was at the forefront of a students' movement following Rohith Vemula's suicide, was found dead at a friend's residence with his family demanding a CBI probe into his death.

28-year-old Muthu Krishnan, an M Phil student at JNU's Centre for Historical studies, hanged himself yesterday from a ceiling fan at his friend's residence in South Delhi's Munirka area, police said. However, his family from Tamil Nadu was not ready to accept police's version that he committed suicide.

In a Facebook post on March 10, Krishnan, who was also known as Rajini Krish, had severely criticised the JNU's amended admission policy for PhD and MPhil courses.

Krishnan, who hails from Tamil Nadu's Salem district, studied at the Hyderabad University, before joining the JNU and was known to a close friend of Rohit Vemula whose suicide in January last year had triggered a nationwide students unrest.

In his Facebook post which has gone viral, Krishnan had slammed the recent prohibitory order by JNU authorities banning protests at the administration block and was severely critical of JNU's new admission policy.

"There is no equality in MPhil/PhD admissions, there is no equality in viva-voce, there is only denial of equality, denying Prof Sukhadeo Thorat recommendation, denying students protest places in Ad-block, denying education to the marginals. When Equality is denied everything is denied," he had written.

His body was taken for postmortem to AIIMS yesterday and the premier hospital has constituted a five-member board to conduct the autopsy and issued direction for videography of the procedure which will be carried out tomorrow.

The decision by AIIMS to form the board came after the student's family members along with some politicians from Congress, AIADMK and DMK and a few JNU students visited the hospital demanding transparency in the autopsy.

"My son cannot commit suicide. He was very strong and confident. We want a CBI probe to be conducted and actual reason behind his death be revealed," said Jeevanandam, Krishnan's father.

He also demanded registration of an FIR under the SC/ST Act.

Police probing the case claimed Krishnan was not associated with any of the politically active groups in JNU and that there is no prima facie evidence indicating the university administration's role in the issue.

The JNU Students Union (JNUSU) alleged that Krishnan was "targeted" for his association with the movement seeking justice for Vemula and that depression had made him take the extreme step. It, however, did not clarify who had targeted him.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami announced a solatium of Rs 3 lakh to Krishnan's family.


Senior police officials probing the case said no suicide note has been recovered.

"It is too early to comment on his association (with Rohith Vemula campaign). But so far, we know that he (Krishnan) was not associated with any student group active in JNU.

"He neither made any complaint to the JNU administration nor was there any complaint against him by the administration," DCP (South) Ishwar Singh said.

The reason why the student took the extreme step is not known yet since no suicide note has been recovered, said the officer.

While JNU authorities are tight-lipped over allegations of any discrimination against Krishnan Vice Chancellor Jagadesh Kumar took to Twitter to express his condolences.

"JNU community is grief stricken at untimely & sad demise of Shri Muthukrishnan J. We pray that God be with his family at this critical time," he tweeted.

JNU Teachers Association (JNUTA) held a condolence meet at the varsity campus in the evening today.

Head of Forensic Department at AIIMS, Sudhir Gupta said a five-member board has been constituted to conduct the autopsy.

"Boy's parents came with a crowd. We would have conducted an autopsy today itself but the parents wanted an FIR to be lodged and further action in the matter so it could not be done today. The entire autopsy will be videographed and still phorograpogy will be done from all anbgles," he added.

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