Students at the National Institute of Technology (NIT) in Assam’s Silchar have written an open letter to President Droupadi Murmu seeking urgent action to resolve the escalating crisis at the premier college.
The students, who began an indefinite hunger strike on Monday, have been demanding the resignation of the dean of the academics for his alleged role in the suicide of a student recently.
“As a concerned student of the NIT Silchar, we are writing to you with an increasing sense of urgency and desperation. The situation within our institution has escalated to an alarming level, necessitating your immediate intervention to avert further harm. The actions and attitudes of our college administration have plunged the campus into a state of chaos, causing widespread distress among the student body,” the letter stated.
Electric Engineering student Koj Buker, from Arunachal Pradesh, was found dead in his hostel room on September 14.
The students allege that Buker was not allowed to go to the classes in fifth semester and was repeatedly insulted by the Dean of Academics, BK Roy, in front of the other students a few days back.
The letter further added, “The Dean Academic has been harassing students since the beginning of his tenure. This also illustrates that the Director Dilip Kumar Baidya has been incompetent throughout his tenure and has failed miserably,” the letter claimed.
Last Friday, the students clashed with the police during an aggressive protest, forcing police to resort to lathicharge in which 40 people were injured.
“We demand the administration of our college to provide the parents of the Koj Buker with proper compensation, be it in the form of financial aid, legal assistance or security in any form. Since, the protest was instigated by the members of the administration, any student who happens to be involved in the protest should not be penalized or met with any sort of legal ramification in any possible form,” it stated.
The classmates claimed that the Dean of Academics had insulted the victim who got six backlogs in his first semester examinations, held online in 2021 because of the pandemic.
Due to Covid lockdown, the victim was at home and failed to attend the online classes due to lack of internet connectivity, resulting in the backlogs, they claimed.
He had appealed to the authorities to conduct a special examination so that he could clear the backlogs, but the Dean of Academics allegedly disallowed it.
Following this incident, he locked himself in his room and was later found dead.