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NIT Silchar suicide: Student hunger strike continues; 10 hospitalized

September 22, 2023

The hunger strike led by NIT Silchar students, demanding various actions following the alleged suicide of a third-year electrical engineering student, has reached its fifth day. An official reported that 10 students were hospitalized after fainting during the strike, with one student, Harsh Kumar Singh, in serious condition.

While the students initially demanded the removal of Dr. B K Roy, the Dean (Academics), as their primary demand, authorities have temporarily replaced him with Dr. Lalit Kumar Saikia. The administration has urged the students to end their protest, pointing out that their main demand has been met.

The incident began when Kok Buker, a student from Arunachal Pradesh, was discovered hanging in his hostel room on September 15. Students accused the Dean (Academics) of mistreating several students and holding him primarily responsible for Buker’s death. The protests escalated, resulting in the police using force against the students, injuring 40 of them.

NIT Silchar Registrar KL Baishnab stated that ongoing discussions and counseling efforts with the students are focused on their academic progress and future.

Previously, the NIT Silchar Student Fraternity had written to President Droupadi Murmu, emphasizing the alarming situation within the institution and demanding immediate intervention. Their demands included the lodging of an FIR to ensure a thorough investigation into the suicide and comprehensive support for the deceased student’s family, both financially and legally. The protesting students also requested protection from disciplinary actions by NIT authorities or legal measures by the Cachar district administration.

Additionally, they called for the establishment of a high-level committee to implement academic reforms in NIT Silchar, aiming to reduce the academic burden on students and prioritize their mental and physical well-being.

Also read: NIT-Silchar dean removed after student suicide protests

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