Student jumps to death after being expelled over protest

Student jumps to death after being expelled over protest

Bengaluru: A final-year engineering student jumped to his death from the seventh floor of Amrita School of Engineering in Bengaluru on Monday after he was allegedly harassed and expelled by the management for protesting against water shortage in the hostel.

Sree Harsha, a native of Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh, was studying engineering in electronics and communications in the college located at Kasavanahalli in Bengaluru. The college is part of Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham founded by Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi.

Isha Panth, Deputy Commissioner of Police (South-east), said Harsha, who resided on campus, had secured a campus placement and was set to begin his professional career after the completion of the course in the next six months.

But all that changed with a protest.

“Hundreds of students had staged protest against the shortage of water in the hostel,” said Isha.

Following the protest, the management had identified a few of them, including Sree Harsha, and issued a termination letter. Isha said Harsha came to the college with his father on Monday, requesting the disciplinary committee to reconsider the decision.

“As the committee refused to withdraw the termination letter, he jumped from the college building. The college management says the letter was issued as a disciplinary action but this incident amounts to abetment to suicide. Action will be initiated against the management,” said Isha. She said the college management has also been booked for allegedly destroying evidence as bloodstains had been wiped off before police arrived on the spot.

After meeting with the committee, Harsha told his father to wait for him and went to the seventh floor from where he jumped to his death. The incident happened around 12.15 noon.

The trigger

A fellow student residing in the hostel told DH that as many as 1,600 students in the hostel started experiencing water shortage last month. On September 23, they went to Bhaskar, the warden, and urged him to fix the problem but he allegedly rejected their request in a rude manner.

The next day, around 300 students staged a protest in front of the administrative block. The director of the college Dhanraj Swami and Associate Dean and Head Rakesh S G came to enquire but failed to convince them.

“We pay nearly Rs 3 lakh for hostel accommodation. We only demanded water supply but the management refused and said they cannot do anything,” students said.

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