The mother of an IIT Kharagpur student who was found dead in a hostel room on the campus said on Monday that a year had passed since the tragedy, but she was yet to know how her son died.
Faizan Ahmed, a third-year student of mechanical engineering, was found dead on October 11, 2022.
His family alleged she had been murdered for opposing ragging by seniors.
Faizan’s mother Rehana Ahmed said: “We have not received any justice. We still do not know why he died. At Jadavpur University, the authorities have established in their internal probe that a first-year student was ragged by senior students and recommended punishment. The IIT authorities in their internal probe admitted that my son was threatened, humiliated and verbally abused by senior students, but tried to pass off his death as suicide because he was under stress having missed out on an internship.”
A first-year student at JU was allegedly ragged and pushed to death at a hostel in August.
Rehana spoke a day after the Bengal government said it would bring to the Supreme Court’s attention, in a case related to appointment of vice-chancellors, Calcutta High Court’s observations about the IIT Kharagpur director, V.K. Tewari.
The director is among the five academics recommended by the governor for inclusion in an apex court-appointed committed for selecting candidates for the post of VC.
Justice Rajasekhar Mantha of the high court had in December told a lawyer representing the IIT in a case related to the student’s death that “your director has sought to mislead the court”, which the judge said “appears to be suppression of facts”.
A second post-mortem in late May suggested that Faizan’s death could be a case of homicide. The court later set up a special investigation team (SIT) to probe the death.
Rehana said: “I would appeal to the court to take steps so that the SIT carries out its probe and finds out who murdered my son.”
The division bench of Chief Justice T.S. Sivagnanam and Justice Hiranmay Bhattacharya of the high court had in August struck down a petition by IIT Kharagpur raising questions about the second post-mortem.
After his partially decomposed body was found on the campus, his family lodged an FIR with Kharagpur Town police station alleging that the 23-year-old had been murdered.
In early November, they moved the court dissatisfied with the probe.
Rehana said a close scrutiny of how the IIT administration acted over the past year would make it clear why she was upset with the institute.
The IIT’s fact-funding report, which was submitted in the court, said: “In the absence of the post-mortem report, to which the committee has no access, the observation of the committee is that Faizan Ahmed was suffering from mental health issues immediately before his death arising from factors (like rejection in internship). Possibility of suicide cannot be ruled out.”
Justice Mantha had in December called a report submitted in the court by the IIT director on ragging on the campus “casual”.
Calls, a text message and an email from this newspaper to the IIT director on Monday failed to elicit a response.