Protesting students of the National Institute of Technology (NIT) in Assam’s Silchar have written to President Droupadi Murmu seeking her help to resolve the escalating crisis in the premier institute.
The students have been demanding the resignation of the dean of academics for his alleged role in the suicide of a third-year student recently.
The letter sent by the NIT Silchar Students Fraternity to the President on Tuesday and made available to the media on Wednesday stated that they are writing to her with ”an increasing sense of urgency and desperation as the situation in our institution has escalated to an alarming level, necessitating your immediate intervention to avert further harm”.
The students alleged that the actions and attitude of the institute’s administration has ”plunged the campus into a state of chaos, causing widespread distress among the student body which demands your urgent attention”.
The students alleged that Koj Buker, hailing from Arunachal Pradesh, had died by suicide due to the constant pressure from the dean of academics, BK Roy, while director Dilip Kumar Baidya failed to take necessary action.
”We want to kindly put some issues for your consideration so that there are no further such incident. We are putting forward some legitimate demands for your consideration”, the letter said.
The students demanded that the institute’s administration must apologise for their delayed response to the suicide incident despite being informed by students besides releasing an official clarification to counter false claims in local newspapers, which wrongly reported the deceased as a drug addict.
”We request the institute administration to refrain from spreading such misinformation about the deceased and fellow students and issue a clear and unequivocal clarification refuting all baseless allegations”, the letter stated.
The students also demanded the resignation of Roy, who they alleged had a past record of harassing several other students and was primarily responsible for the death of Buker.
They also urged the director and the registrar to listen to the demands of the students’ fraternity to normalise the situation.
The students also demanded that the college administration should lodge an FIR to ensure a proper investigation into the alleged suicide.
They also demanded that those students who are involved in the ongoing protest should be assured in writing that there will not be any disciplinary, academic and legal action against them by NIT Silchar and Cachar administration.
The students also demanded the setting up of a high-level committee to bring academic reforms in NIT Silchar to reduce the burden on students and ensure their mental and physical well-being.
Buker was found hanging in his hostel room on September 15 following which police broke open the door to bring down the body even as students had prevented the authorities to enter the room.
The students launched a protest since Friday night and had allegedly vandalised the residence of the dean (academics), following which the police lathicharged them and 40 students were injured.
The students said they will continue with their protest in a democratic manner and had staged a sit-in demonstration on Monday.