Hundreds of students gathered at the Madras Christian College in Tambaram on Tuesday and staged a protest against the college for making sports compulsory for all students.
The protest was held after a first-year undergraduate student, Mahima Jayaraj, collapsed on the basketball court during a mandatory sports session in the college on Monday.
The student took up the mandatory jog before getting onto the court where she collapsed. She was rushed to a nearby private hospital where the doctors declared her dead on arrival, college authorities said.
Part of curriculum
The sudden death of the 18-year-old B.Sc. (Chemistry) student shocked the college students, who raised questions over the mandatory sports sessions. Students said that first-year students have to spend at least 120 hours on the field to receive two credits needed for completing their degree.
“The students initially alleged that there was a compulsion for the students to take up sports activity, which resulted in the death of a student. The protesting students later changed their stand and wanted sports to be made optional like it was a few years ago. “It is a two-credit course and many students are yet to clear their semester because of this,” said a student, who was among the protesters.
On Tuesday, the college authorities cancelled classes after the surge in protests. When the students wanted to protest in front of the college, they denied them permission.
The authorities told the students that the Principal would talk to them later in the day. The Principal could not be reached for comment.
The college authorities announced that the classes would be conducted as usual from Wednesday and a decision on ‘Sports for All’, as part of the curriculum, would be arrived at after a meeting of the administrative body.
On Monday, the parents of the girl did not want a post-mortem after the hospital told them it was a natural death. However, the police insisted and a post-mortem was conductedon Tuesday. The body was handed over to the parents in the evening, said a police official.