Jishnu Pranoy, who was studying computer science, at Nehru College of Engineering and Research Centre in Pampady, Thrissur, Kerala committed suicide last Friday, on January 6.
He was one of the most talented minds in the college, was an expert in web designing. He had bagged prizes at the district level tech fest during his senior year in school. He had his photo published in a newspaper for his excellent creative project on prepaid energy metre. He was an ambitious boy. He had already named his future dream company COMMOS.
Jishnu’s classmates who witnessed the incident say that the invigilator accused him of copying in the exam when he was caught looking behind while he was giving the exam. Despite Jishnu claiming that he was not cheating, the authorities threatened to debar him and made him cross out his answer sheet.
He was tortured mentally severely by the faculty. The invigilator, who was also a faculty member took the paper from Jishnu. The invigilator was from the Mechanical section and these students were from the Computer Science department. He took Jishnu to the principal’s room and there they started a meeting regarding this issue. Jishnu was crying and repeatedly saying that he didn’t copy or try to copy in the exam.
But the invigilator kept on insulting him in front of everyone and they all started mentally torturing him. They didn’t even check the answer papers with the other student’s paper and check if the answers were same or not.
The exam was over by 4 pm and they kept on interrogating him till 5:45 pm. At 5:45 pm, they crossed and debarred the papers and told him, “You cannot write any more exams,” and asked him to leave.
He was really sad, he was innocent, he must have thought that his future dreams are all but over. With sadness, he entered his hostel room at 6 pm. At 6:45 pm there was a roll-call for students in the hostel. Jishnu wasn’t present there for the roll-call. His friends went to search for him and found his room locked from the inside. They broke into his room and found him hanging from the shower head, with his veins cut.
Then the students called the teacher who also the invigilator, who lives on the college campus, and asked him to take Jishnu to the hospital in his car. He refused to do so and cut the call. He was also the one who harassed Jishnu on the issue of the question paper. A senior student brought his car and took Jishnu to the hospital but it was too late. It must be remembered that the motto of Nehru College is ‘Moulding true citizen’. Let his soul rest in peace.
The police have registered a case of unnatural death.
College has appointed ‘disciplinary officers’ to ensure that the rules imposed by authorities are strictly followed. Those who challenge the stringent rules are summoned to this room where they are threatened and beaten up, alumnus and students of the college said.
It is also alleged that the college imposes various measures to implement discipline on campus. Boys and girls are not allowed to talk to each other and if found together are listed as the ‘notorious’ ones. They have to pay a huge amount as fine and are debarred from attending exams. Fines are imposed for using mobile, taking sick leave and even for coming to college without shaving their beard, students allege.
Relatives and friends of Jishnu had said the college officials manhandled Jishnu and threatened to debar him from exams for three years. They have released a video showing injury marks and blood clots on Jishnu’s body. Post mortem report also revealed that there was an injury mark on his face.
The incident caused a huge uproar in the state. Students took on social media to mark protest and shared their own experience of harassment in various self-financing college managements in the state.
Change.org launched an online petition demanding probe into the allegations against college management and alleged that the student was a victim of harassment by college authorities. The petition also said the college is exploiting students economically and earns huge sum by imposing arbitrary fines, they alleged. More than 2000 people have already signed the petition.
Hashtag #JusticeForJishnu started trending on social media, and alumnus started posting about various atrocities they faced inside the campus. A Facebook page called ‘Justice for Jishnu’ was also created, seeking action against college authorities.