'IIT-Kharagpur Was His Dream': Parents Claim Foul Play in Son's 'Suicide Death'

Faizan's decomposed body was found in mysterious circumstances in a hostel room at IIT-Kharagpur on 14 October.

4 min read
'IIT-Kharagpur Was His Dream': Parents Claim Foul Play in Son's 'Suicide Death'

The Quint DAILY

For impactful stories you just can’t miss

By subscribing you agree to our Privacy Policy

(Trigger Warning: Mentions of suicide. If you feel suicidal or know someone in distress, please reach out to them with kindness and call these numbers of local emergency services, helplines, and mental health NGOs.)

"Faizan had so many dreams. He wanted to go abroad to study. Why would someone with so many hopes and dreams die by suicide," asked Rehana Ahmed.

Rehana's 23-year-old son Faizan Ahmed was a third-year mechanical engineering student at IIT-Kharagpur. His decomposed body was found in room 205 of the college's Lala Lajpat Rai (LLR) hostel on 14 October.

A month on, Faizan's heartbroken family is struggling to come to terms with their loss.

"We want to know what exactly happened to him. For the last month, I have been asking the authorities and the police about what happened. He was murdered," she alleged.

Initially, NDTV reported the police said that Faizan died by suicide. On 1 November, however, his family moved the Calcutta High Court, demanding that a Special Investigation Team, the Central Bureau of Investigation, or the Criminal Investigation Department probe his death.


'Not Satisfied With Probe'

Rehana said that she and her husband approached the high court because they were unsatisfied with the way the investigation was proceeding. 

She alleged that the institute tried to cover up the circumstances that led to Faizan's death by trying to convince them that he was "mentally unstable" and died by suicide.

Rehana alleged that after his body was found, "the police and IIT authorities at the hospital misbehaved with us when we got there. They asked us to quickly sign and claim Faizan's body, or that we won't get it otherwise."

In their petition, they alleged that in a photograph of Faizan's body – taken in the room he was found dead – both his eyes and mouth were open, apparently gasping for air. His hands were in a posture that indicated that he was pinned to the ground, she alleged.

Advocate Aniruddha Mitra, who is representing Faizan's parents in the high court, told The Quint that a post on a Facebook page called 'IT KGP confessions' showed that an assimilation programme was held by seniors at the Rajendra Prasad (RP) Hall of residence from February to March 2022. During that programme, some second-year students were allegedly subjected to ragging, Mitra said.

Mitra added that Faizan refused to take part in it. "He was dragged to the programme and harassed in front of 130 students," Mitra alleged, adding that the post was later deleted from Facebook.

Faizan, who was a resident of RP Hall, swapped rooms with a student of LLR hall approximately 45 days before his death, Mitra added.


'He Had Always Wanted To Study at IIT'

Faizan hailed from Assam's Tinsukia district. His father has been battling cancer and recently suffered a heart attack, said Rehana.

"My son was very talented. Going to an IIT had always been his dream – he wanted to study there since he was in Class 7," said Rehana.

"After joining a coaching centre in Assam after Class 10, he told me he already knew everything that they were teaching here. He then got admission in one of the top coaching institutes in Kota with a scholarship," Rehana said.

"He was very good at mathematics, 'jaise uske haath ka jaadu (like there was magic in his hands)'. Every year since Class 6, he has won medals in maths and chemistry olympiads. I felt so good when he brought home those gold medals. He would say, 'Mumma, dekho mujhe ye mila (mom, look I won this)'."
Rehana Ahmed, Faizan's mother

Faizan was also awarded a scholarship by the Assam government for his education at the IIT. "We only had to pay Rs 70,000 of the fee of Rs 3 lakh. The rest was paid by the government." His education was mostly sponsored by his uncle, Rashid Ahmed.

Rehana said that Faizan wanted to join an IIM after completing his engineering course. "He told me that after completing his education, he wanted to work at the Indian embassy in different parts of the world," she said.


What Did the High Court Say?

Last week, the director of IIT-Kharagpur, Virendra Kumar Tewari, submitted a report to Calcutta High Court on the steps taken by the institute's management and wardens to tackle ragging on campus.

The high court, while hearing the petition filed by Faizan's parents, had ordered the director of IIT-Kharagpur to submit the report and add the names of the "students involved in the 'ragging'" in that report.

The court further noted that in a supplementary affidavit, the petitioner also annexed an email dated 4 February 2022, which appears to have been addressed by a team of hostel wardens to the students of IIT-Kharagpur.

In the view of the same, the court said, "There is mention of serious complaints from second-year under-graduate students of being physically and mentally harassed by a group of seniors."

"This court is interested to know as to what steps have been taken by the said wardens and the Management of the IIT-Kharagpur after receipt of information of what appears to this Court to be a clear case of 'ragging'."
Justice Rajasekhar Mantha

The next hearing is scheduled to take place on 30 November.


'Lapses in Handling the Situation'

In a press note dated 20 October, the deputy director of IIT-Kharagpur, Amit Patra, acknowledged that "no faculty member had contacted the parents and family members" and that "the faculty advisor of the student also exhibited inappropriate behaviour towards the parents of the deceased student."

He further apologised and took responsibility "for the lapses that occurred in the handling of the entire situation."

The Quint has tried contacting the director and deputy director of IIT-Kharagpur. The article will be updated as and when they respond.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

Read and Breaking News at the Quint, browse for more from news and education

Topics:  Suicide   Ragging   IIT Kharagpur 

Speaking truth to power requires allies like you.
Become a Member
3 months
12 months
12 months
Check Member Benefits
Read More
Stay Updated

Subscribe To Our Daily Newsletter And Get News Delivered Straight To Your Inbox.

Join over 120,000 subscribers!
More News