Kin rules out depression in death of IIT-Hyderabad student

Sangareddy police, which registered a case following a complaint lodged by the institute, informed two suicide notes were found in Mamita Naik's room, one in Odia and another in English.
Image used for representational purposes. (File Photo)
Image used for representational purposes. (File Photo)

BHUBANESWAR/SONEPUR: The death of IIT-Hyderabad student Mamita Naik, who allegedly ended her life in the institute's hostel on Monday, remains shrouded in mystery. Even as her family members in the Subarnapur district alleged she could have taken the extreme step after being ragged, the national institute refuted the charges. Mamita's mortal remains were flown in from Hyderabad on Wednesday and taken to her native village Dumuri. 

The 23-year-old girl had taken admission in IIT-Hyderabad on July 26 to pursue MTech in Civil Engineering. She resided alone in one of the 16 hostel blocks. Her uncle Jagyenswar Naik, a contractor, said Mamita got admission purely on the basis of merit. An alumnus of VSSUT-Burla, Mamita cleared her B.Tech in Civil Engineering with 92 per cent last year. "She had studied in the village school and completed Plus II with 80 per cent marks. She never took help from any tuition teacher or coaching centre," he said. 

Stating he spent Rs 65,360 towards her admission and hostel fees on July 24, Naik said Mamita was supposed to get Rs 12,400 per month as a stipend from the institute for being an SC student with good grades. 

On Monday at around 8.30 PM, her family received a call from the IIT intimating she had ended her life in the hostel room. Sangareddy police, which registered a case following a complaint lodged by the institute, informed two suicide notes were found in her room, one in Odia and another in English. Mamita allegedly mentioned she was under mental stress and took extreme steps since she was unable to cope with it. 

Refuting the depression theory, Naik said he is a joint family and on August 6, Mamita spoke to her parents and three siblings through video-calling. "She was happy about joining the institute and said everything was fine," he said. Since she was a new student, he said ragging could not be ruled out. 
IIT-Hyderabad authorities said Mamita attended classes regularly and brought no allegation of ragging before the administration or anti-ragging committee. Immediately after her admission, she underwent orientation and as per the institute's rules, there was a one-to-one session between her and a faculty member but the allegation of ragging was never brought up, the officials added. 

"The college has a zero-tolerance policy towards ragging and no such case has occurred on the campus in the last four years," said the institute's PRO Mitalee Agarwal. Meanwhile, Naik has filed a ragging complaint at Birmaharajpur police station.  

Discussing suicides can be triggering for some. However, suicides are preventable. In case you feel distressed by the content or know someone in distress, call Sneha Foundation - 04424640050 (available 24x7).

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