IIT-Bombay student attempts suicide, saved by hostel mates

The student’s hostel mates say he tried to hang himself but failed; he then popped some pills and began to scream in pain, alerting other students

A student’s attempted suicide rocked the IIT-Bombay campus on Monday. The 23-year-old student, who was pursuing his MTech in Earth Sciences was rushed to the IIT Bombay Hospital and then taken to to the nearby Hiranandani Hospital in Powai, where he is currently recuperating.

Hostel mates say the student had kept three suicide notes, but Powai police said no note was found. File pic
Hostel mates say the student had kept three suicide notes, but Powai police said no note was found. File pic

The incident comes in the wake of two students having allegedly committed suicide on the IIT campus since last September. The student was alone in his room in Hostel 5 when he allegedly attempted suicide. According to his hostel mates, he first tried to hang himself, but was unsuccessful and then immediately popped some pills.

“Due to the reaction of these pills, he started screaming in pain and we rushed to his room. He had a towel tied around his neck so we understood what was happening and immediately rushed him to the hospital on campus.

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The doctors provided an ambulance which rushed him to Hiranandani Hospital,” said one of the students. The incident took place around 7 am on Monday and he was taken to Hiranandani Hospital around 9 am in an unconscious state. With most students away on vacation, very few are currently on campus.

The student’s roommate, too, was not around at the time of the incident. Some students and two senior officials from IIT-Bombay rushed him to the hospital. “He is originally from Bihar and his brother stays in Delhi. His brother reached Mumbai early on Tuesday morning. We are taking turns to stay with him in case he needs help,” said another student.

When mid-day contacted officials at Hiranandani Hospital, they confirmed that the student was admitted to the ICU on Monday morning. “He was brought in unconscious and a stomach wash was done, which showed some pills. He also had a towel tied around his neck but there are no major marks on his neck.

The pills have been sent for tests to check the substance,” said an official. By late Tuesday evening, students said that their friend was conscious and talking and was moved out of the ICU to the general ward.

Suicide note confusion
The Powai police said no suicide note was found but the the student’s hostel mates told mid-day that three suicide notes were found in his room. “He had addressed one suicide note to his mother, another to the police and the third to the institute authorities.

But we are not clear about what was written in them,” said a student. An official from IIT-B said that one suicide note was found. “It seems he had written that no one was to be blamed for his actions. But only the police will know the details as they checked the room after the incident,” said Rashmi Uday Kumar, IIT-B PRO. The authorities at IIT-B said they are regularly checking on the student’s status at the hospital.

“He is doing decently well academically. We are still not sure why he took the step,” said Kumar. Since this is the third such incident on the IIT-B campus since September last year, questions have also been raised on the counselling of students who are always under pressure to perform well. “Counselling in IIT is an ongoing process. Our counsellors also regularly visit hostels and talk to students to understand their problems if any,” she added.

In the past

September 4, 2014: 22-year-old Aniket Ambhore, a fourth-year student pursuing a dual degree in electrical engineering, died after falling from the sixth floor of Hostel 13. Aniket was rushed to Ghatkopar’s Rajawadi Hospital, where he was declared dead on arrival. It is still unclear whether it was an accident or a suicide.

May 2, 2015: Jitesh Sharma, a third-year chemical engineering student, was found dead on the terrace of a hostel on the campus on May 2. The 21-year-old student was reportedly suffering from depression and had been undergoing counselling for over six months. Sharma’s body was found on the terrace of hostel number 15 B on the campus. Sharma lived in hostel 8.

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