Student’s death sparks row

She was reprimanded for allegedly cheating during exam

The police on Monday retrieved the body of a 20-year-old woman from the Meenachil river near Cherpungal. Anju P. Shaji, a final year B.Com. student, reportedly jumped into the waterbody on Saturday afternoon, allegedly after being reprimanded for cheating during the examination. The student of a private college in Kanjirappally, she had appeared for the sixth semester examinations at BVM Holy Cross College in Cherpungal and was barred from writing the examination on Saturday after being caught cheating for malpractice by the invigilator.

Acting on a complaint lodged by the parents, the Kanjirappally police launched a search operation and recovered the victim’s footwear and bag from a location near the Cherpungal bridge here. The CCTV footage collected by the police showed her walking towards the bridge.

The body was recovered three kilometres downstream around 11.30 a.m. on Monday. The Kidangoor police have booked a case for unnatural death.

Family’s stance

The incident has triggered a controversy with relatives and fellow students of the victim accusing the college authorities of harassing the girl, prompting her to take the extreme step. “The Principal humiliated my daughter in public and unable to bear the insult, she decided to end her life. Anju had always been good at her studies and she will never resort to anything unethical,” said Shaji, the victim’s father.

College’s version

Later in the day, he lodged a complaint with the District Police Chief against Fr. Joseph Njarakkattil, the college Principal. The college authorities denied the allegations and said the girl had scribbled a few answers pertaining to the subject of examination on the backside of her hall ticket. To back the claim, they produced the confiscated hall ticket and the CCTV footage showing her walking out of the examination hall.

“She had been caught for cheating just 20 minutes into the exam but was directed to remain in the seat for another 40 minutes as no students are permitted to leave the examination hall within an hour. She walked out of the hall after being directed to meet the college Principal and soon left the college campus,” they said.

Women’s panel

Taking cognizance of the incident, the Controller of Examination, Mahatma Gandhi University has sought a report on the incident from the college authority. The State Women’s Commission has booked a suo motu case and directed the District Police Chief, Kottayam, to look into the incident and submit a report.

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Printable version | Jul 7, 2020 7:21:40 PM |

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