Over 45 days after the death by suicide of 18-year-old Darshan Solanki at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay, Mumbai Police on Thursday, 30 March filed an First Information Report (FIR) under various sections of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.
The FIR, filed at Mumbai's Powai police station, has also charged "unknown people" under section 306 (abetment of suicide) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
Darshan, a first-year student of B.Tech in Chemical Engineering at IIT-Bombay, had died by suicide on 12 February. Darshan’s family hails from Ahmedabad in Gujarat and belongs to the Dalit community.
The FIR comes two days after Darshan’s father Ramesh Solanki wrote a letter to Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde alleging that the police “were refusing to entertain our request for registration of FIR.”
“We are apprehensive that the Special Investigation Team (SIT) is attempting to sideline and divert the investigation from the angle of caste discrimination faced by Darshan, which has been reported by multiple persons and is part of my complaint,” Ramesh Solanki had written in his letter to the CM.
Hope Investigation is Unbiased: Darshan's Father
After the FIR was filed on the basis of his complaint submitted on 16 March, Ramesh Solanki told The Quint, “We have continuously said that Darshan faced caste-based discrimination. My family and I have been demanding since 16 March that an FIR be filed in this case.”
He also alleged that one of Darshan’s seniors had told the police that he had faced caste-based discrimination and that he wanted to change his room.
The police have now filed an FIR under section 306 of the IPC and Section 3(2)(V) of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.
Ramesh Solanki said that he had demanded that Section 3(2)(Va) of the SC/ST Act and Section 302 (punishment for murder) of the IPC be added in the FIR when he had met officers of the SIT on 27 March.
“But they have not added these additional sections. I hope that investigation takes place in an unbiased manner, and Darshan and we get justice,” Ramesh said.