Students of Kathir College of Engineering along with the members of Students Federation of India and All India Students Federation staged a protest in front of the Coimbatore Collectorate on Friday demanding an impartial probe into the alleged suicide by a third year civil engineering student, C. Vignesh (23). They sought action against those who pushed him to take the extreme step.
In their petition, the students said on March 9 when Vignesh returned to college after participating in an inter-collegiate event, the college cashier Velayudham pulled him aside for an inquiry.
The cashier and warden Prakash charged him with indulging in a group clash with second year mechanical engineering students. But the student pleaded his innocence. They interrogated him till 11 p.m. and again on Thursday.
The students alleged that the three forced him to confess in writing to his involvement in the clash and returning to the hostel under the influence of alcohol.
Heartbroken, Vignesh hanged himself in a hostel room, the protesting students alleged.
The student’s mother C. Shanthi, a CRPF constable in Bengaluru, said the college authorities harassed her son and prevented her from reaching out to him. She dialled his number many times.
The warden who answered the call in the first instance mumbled a few excuses for Vignesh not picking up the phone but on further queries he cut the call and never answered the phone thereafter.
Later, Vignesh called her from a landline phone and had told that the college authorities had forced him to write a confession, she said. On Thursday evening, one of his classmates conveyed the news of Vignesh’s suicide. The College secretary, Lavanya Kathir, said that when Vignesh returned to the hostel on Wednesday he was reeking of alcohol. Therefore, the authorities warned him. They also brought the matter to the notice of Vignesh’s mother.
But his drinking was a minor issue as the college authorities were seized of the group clash issue between mechanical engineering and civil engineering students.