Darshan's aunt Divyaben said, "A month back when he came here he was saying that many students don't like that I am studying for free. People are jealous, they ask 'why are you studying for free'. Yes, while we are studying by spending a lot of money.
Mumbai: An 18-year-old Dalit student at IIT Bombay allegedly committed suicide on Sunday. His family told sources that Darshan Solanki had spoken to his sister and aunt about being ostracized by his friends because of their caste. However, IIT Bombay officials have said that there is no discrimination on the campus.
Darshan’s family claimed that he had faced harassment. Darshan’s sister Jhanvi Solanki said, “When he came last month, he told me and his parents that there was caste discrimination. His friends changed their behavior towards him when they came to know that he is from the Scheduled Caste.” Gone. He stopped talking to her and stopped hanging out with her.” Darshan’s mother Tarlikaben Solanki said, “He was under stress, he was being tortured. That’s why he did it.”
“Darshan confided in Uday that his roommate, mentors and wing-mates were from the general category and reduced talking to him after coming to know about his rank which is a marker for his category. The combined issue of academic pressure and caste discrimination, along with a lack of mental health and academic support might have pushed him to take such an extreme step,” the Ambedkar Periyar Phule Study Circle (APPSC) statement said.
Darshan’s aunt Divyaben said, “A month back when he came here he was saying that many students don’t like that I am studying for free. People are jealous, they ask ‘why are you studying for free’. Yes, while we are studying by spending a lot of money. He told me that he has stopped talking to some friends as well.
Darshan’s father Rameshbhai Solanki said that he had spoken to his son a few hours before Darshan’s death. He told, “Two hours before his suicide, we got a call from IIT. He was speaking normally, asking ‘how are you’.
He called my elder brother’s daughter to wish her on her birthday. He said that he would go out today. I sent some money to my account. He said, ‘I have money, I don’t need money.’ He didn’t spend much, but I still send some money. I didn’t know that something like this could happen.
IIT Bombay has denied allegations that Darshan Solanki faced systemic discrimination and said that his death is being investigated. In a statement on Tuesday, the educational institute said, “IIT Bombay strongly refutes the claims in some news articles about the tragic death of a first-year BTech student, implying that the reason was discrimination and it was an ‘institutional murder’.”
Police registered a case of accidental death after Darshan died on Sunday after jumping from the seventh floor of the hostel. No suicide note has been found so far, but a student group alleges that he was forced to commit suicide due to discrimination against Dalit students on campus.