Grief over the suicide of a student, Mudassir Kamran, at the English and Foreign Language University (EFLU) has turned into ire directed at proctor Harish Vizra.
Student groups put the university under lockdown Monday. More than 80 students picketed the vice-chancellor’s office, demanding Prof Vizra’s sacking.
They believe that it was the proctor who took what was essentially a personal matter between Kamran and his friend to the police, ultimately leading to the former’s suicide.
However, two days after Kamran hanged himself in his hostel room, the facts of the case remain to be established. Students allege that it was the proctor who complained to the police about Kamran. The Osmania University (OU) police on the other hand say they acted on a complaint by Kamran’s friend, Vasim Salim.
Speaking to Express, vice-chancellor Sunaina Singh said proctor Vizra only tried to resolve the dispute between Kamran and Vasim. “We will set up a fact-finding committee to enquire into the matter,” she said.
On Monday, students kept up slogans against the VC all day, demanding a compensation of `20 lakh for Kamran’s family and a job for one of his family members.
Prof Singh’s efforts to get them to go home failed.
DCP (east zone) P Jaya Lakshmi said the police are recording the statements of all those who were involved in the case. Prof Vizra, against whom a case of abetment of suicide has been filed, has not yet been spoken to.
Vasim Salim was not seen on campus since the death of his friend and alleged tormentor. Students say Kamran felt humiliated about being picked up by the police and that may have driven him to suicide.
“The police picked him up on Friday night at 10.30 pm or so. When he was brought back to campus, Kamran began crying. He said he was treated like a criminal,” said Narsimhulu, a Ph.D student. His friends consoled him and decided not to let him sleep alone in his room.
Another student, who did not want to be named, said Kamran was seen having lunch on Saturday and seemed okay. It was in the evening that things seemed amiss and his friends noticed he was missing. While the students allege that it was the proctor’s harsh behaviour that led to the suicide, professors on campus said Prof Vizra had nothing to do with it.
On Saturday night, when Kamran’s Kashmiri friends at other universities were informed of his suicide, they rushed to EFLU. They imagined that he had been questioned by the police, and that gave rise to rumours that their friend had been beaten up in custody. These rumours, conveyed to folks back home in Kashmir, triggered protests in Kamran’s home district of Pulwama.
“They didn’t know of all the things that had happened between Kamran and Vasim before,” explained a student.