Twenty-year-old K. Mahalakshmi, a sophomore of the Ramakrishna Arts and Science College, committed suicide at her residence on Friday. The Big Bazaar Police, based on a complaint from the girl’s mother K. Kamatchi, have registered a case and arraigned the College principal and lecturer as accused.

The police said that the girl, who returned home after attending an inquiry in the college, resorted to the extreme step around 7 p.m. by consuming the chemical substance used to substitute cow dung. The girl had mixed the powder with water and consumed the same when her mother was outside tending to the cattle.

There was no power at the house then. The girl’s grandmother, who was outside, alerted Kamatchi saying that something was amiss inside the house as the girl seemed to murmur. The mother went inside, saw the girl lying unconscious, alerted her neighbours and with their help rushed her to the Coimbatore Medical College Hospital, where she died.

The girl’s relatives, who had gathered at the CMCH to receive the body, said that on Friday the College principal had “censured” the girl for no fault of hers. As alleged by the college management, the girl had taken 14 days’ leave over a period of time. And, on all the 14 days she had been with her mother, visiting temples.

After the College management insisted that she tender an apology, Kamatchi and her daughter Mahalakshmi apologised and even thereafter the management had pulled aside the girl and “scolded’ her, alleged S. Padma, a relative. “Kamatchi saw Mahalakshmi walking out of the principal’s room, crying.”

Only because the college took a strong exception to her going on leave and asking her parent to be present at the college, did Mahalakshmi commit suicide, complained C. Sadasivam, another relative.

While the College was not aware of the exact reason for her suicide, the faculty and the principal made inquiries with her and seven other students over the loss of attendance register, said a senior member of the trust that runs the institution.

“After an inquiry regarding the loss of attendance register that was to be submitted to the Bharathiar University, the college faculty summoned eight second year students of the Bachelors of Computer Application who did not have the requisite attendance to sit for the University examination.” Mahalakshmi was one of the eight.

The inquiry revealed that Mahalakshmi was the one who had hidden the attendance register. She confessed to hiding the register, returned the same at the end of the inquiry and also tendered a written apology, the member said. The College conducted the inquiry right in the presence of the girl’s mother Kamatchi, he said, and added that it would be wrong to blame the faculty.

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