The ISM hostel in Dhanbad where Jetti Kunal committed suicide on Wednesday. (Gautam Dey)
Depressed about a rocky love affair, a bright 19-year-old student of ISM-Dhanbad hanged himself from his hostel’s ceiling fan on Wednesday night, the first such case of suicide at the premier cradle in recent memory.
The campus was still coming to terms with the death of petroleum engineering student Nishant Singh in a bike accident earlier this week, when Jetti Kunal of the same department gave it another major jolt by ending his life.
Kunal, a second-year student, who had come to study at ISM from Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, stayed in room No. 217 of Amber Hostel, ISM. It was from here that his friends discovered his body around 11pm.
When their repeated knocks on Kunal’s door elicited no response, some students clambered to the ventilator and managed to reach the bolt of the door. Then, the assembled students saw Kunal hanging from the ceiling fan, a towel as his noose.
ISM director Durga Charan Panigrahi, registrar Colonel (retd) M.K. Singh, dean of students’ welfare Sukumar Laik, chief hostel warden D.D. Pathak and others immediately rushed to the hostel.
Police also recovered his note of four staccato sentences, which mentioned the girl he had fallen in love with.
It read: “I lost my life, I quit, I love you (he had written the girl’s name, which is being withheld to protect her privacy), I love my mom, dad and relatives.”
Investigating officer Pramod Kumar said the note indicated that Kunal was in love with a girl of his batch and had been for some reason depressed since Wednesday morning.
Police, who have sent the body for post-mortem at PMCH, have also seized the boy’s cellphone for details of his incoming and outgoing calls to get a clearer picture of what triggered his death wish.
By all accounts, Kunal was perhaps the least likely candidate for suicide. Popular, good in studies and extracurricular activities, he had already made a name for himself at the campus. “Besides being good in studies, he was active in co-curricular activities. I can recall his participating in a number of contests during the annual tech fest Concreto held last year. We are deeply shocked,” associate professor of petroleum engineering Vikas Mahto, among those who rushed to the hostel on Wednesday night, said.
“Kunal’s suicide is a great loss for all of us,” said ISM registrar Colonel (retd) Singh.
The boy’s father Venkat Samril Kumar Reddy, a government employee, reached Dhanbad on Thursday.
How can top-ranking cradles avert such tragedies?