Staff Reporter

BANGALORE: A CBI inquiry into the suicide of Ajay Shree Chandra, a Ph.D. student, at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, last month has been demanded by the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes Employees’ Welfare Association at the institute.

The body of the 21-year-old research student was found hanging from the ceiling of his hostel room on August 27.

The association took out a silent march on the campus and presented a letter to the Director of IISc on Thursday, demanding an “impartial inquiry.”

They described Chandra in their memorandum as a “brilliant student with an excellent academic record” and alleged that he had suffered “harassment on the basis of his caste.”

On Friday, the Samata Sainik Dal also staged a protest demanding a CBI inquiry.

The entries in the diary of Chandra were produced by the Association members, including one written the day before he died. Written in English and Telugu, these show Chandra’s troubled state of mind. “When all my friends’ projects are doing well, why is this happening to only my project,” he asked. “Maybe, I am in the wrong lab or this lab is not for me.” The association’s demands include the filling of the 22.5 per cent reservations for students from ST and SC communities in all academic programmes, including research, and a 50 per cent representation for Dalits on the internal inquiry committee set up to investigate Chandra’s death.

Asked for their reactions, the Director and Associate Director of the Institute said they did not wish to comment.