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Chennai’s Sathyabama Varsity to Stay Shut for a Week After Furore

The protests after a student committed suicide turned into full blown arson and violence.

Updated
India
2 min read

Chennai’s Sathyabama University witnessed unrest on Wednesday, 22 November, after a student killed herself. Reports claimed that the woman was a first-year engineering student at the university.

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Over 300 students indulged in protests at the campus, which broke out into full blown violence and arson. Mattresses were set on fire in the hostel, and window panes smashed after news of the  alleged suicide spread. Tamil news channel Puthiya Thalaimurai reported that a number of students were rioting, proclaiming “we want justice”. Police personnel has been deployed in and around the campus, and the situation is currently under control.

The situation is absolutely under control. The university will be closed for a week now. The students had dragged out mattresses and lit them on fire. Contrary to many media reports, no building was set on fire. When we interrogated the students protesting, they had first condemned the university for its tough curriculum, lack of facilities in the hostel, and then talked about the student suicide. We are monitoring the situation closely.
Chennai Commissioner AK Vishwana

Students who were in the hostel in which the mattresses were burnt have been sent home. Students have been told by the that the classes will be stalled till 2 January . University officials confirm all exams postponed till reopening date.

Rangamonica was a first-year student from Andhra Pradesh. Students allege that she was caught copying in an examination, and was humiliated in front of her classmates. She was allegedly found hanging in her hostel room.

A classmate of Rangamonica, Mahita Sree spoke to The Quint and said there were no heated arguments between the teacher and Rangamonica.

Rangamonica’s father said he has not received any official communication from the university. He demanded strict action against the college management.

I got a call on Wednesday, and that too from my son, not the management of the college.I don’t know what to say, I lost my daughter. No word from college management till now, I spoke with them on Wednesday, I tried to speak with them and there has been no word from the Dean. I want stringent action against the college management, such incidents shouldn’t happen again.
Raja Reddy, Father of Ragamonica

The Quint reached the spot and are trying to reach out to the university authorities for their version of the events. We will be updating this section as soon as we have that.

Here are some visuals from outside the college where you can see students leaving the hostel with luggage and police personnel being deployed to take control of the situation.

Her body has reportedly been sent to Royapettah Government Hospital for postmortem.

The private university has witnessed violence in the past too over issues of restriction for students to interact with the other gender, strict dress code, curfew

(This is a developing story, and will be updated with more details)

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