October 21, Monday, was a dark day for the students of Amrita School of Engineering, Bengaluru. A bright final year B Tech student, G. N. N. K. Sri Harsha jumped to death from the hostel’s 7th floor due to alleged harassment by college authorities.
The incident prompted hundreds of students to protest, demanding justice for Harsha.
Series Of Events That Led To The Death
For the past two to three weeks, students in the college were facing serious issues due to shortage of water in the campus. To draw the management’s attention to the problem, a group of students went to the director’s office to express their concerns.
“When the students told the director that they were having a hard time, he misbehaved with them and refused to address the issue. He made inappropriate remarks which enraged the students,” Anvesh Reddy, a final year student of the college, tells The Logical Indian.
Consequently, the students held a protest during which windows of classrooms, labs and college buses were damaged. Following this incident, over 20 students, including Harsha, were suspended.
The classes were suspended on September 24 and the college was closed from September 25 for Dussehra.
When the college reopened, many of the suspended students’ parents tried to approach the management, seeking the rollback of suspension. They were not allowed to enter the college.
Reddy further said that the college authorities checked the CCTV footage of the incident and recognized Harsha as one of the protestors. “Harsha was a part of the protest but not the vandalization,” he says.
Rohit (name changed), an MTech student of the college, says “Harsha was a very bright student. He had received more than one job offer during campus placements. After the incident, the management threatened to cancel his placements. Someone from the management tore his offer letter in front of him.”
During the course of these events, Harsha had a meeting with the college’s disciplinary committee.
“We do not know what conversation Harsha had with the committee, but we can guess it did not go well. After the meeting, Harsha went to the hostel’s second floor and jumped to his death. The college authorities wiped off blood stains from the ground and attempted to destroy other evidence,” Reddy says.
“Can anyone justify the acts of the management and the committee? Their carelessness killed a boy with an otherwise bright future. We will continue to protest until Harsha gets justice. We also demand that this issue is addressed by our chancellor Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi, Amma,” he adds.
Where is the education system heading towards?? Is it wrong to ask for a basic facility which you have paid for??
Shame on the whole management of Amrita College of engineering. Your college is not worth being called as a temple of knowledge anymore !#justiceforharsha pic.twitter.com/9BT4T9sSfW
— shreyas sriramoju (@shbglr06) October 23, 2019
In the FIR, Principal of Amrita Engineering College, Choodasandra – Dhanaraj Swamy, Rakesh SG lecturer in the Mechanical Engineering Department, Bhaskar BL from the Chemistry Department, Ravi Kumar from the Mechanical Engineering Department, Ramesh TK from the ECE Department, Nipun Kumar and Amrudha from the CSE Department, Ventatesh B from the Math Department, Nagaraja SR the HOD of the Mechanical Engineering Department and Murty NS the HOD of ECE Department have been named as accused in the case.
Here is a pvt univ. of Amritanandamayi, not just accused of abetting a students suicide but also destroying the evidence! (see FIR attchd) Issue starts with denial of food, water to students, ! Higher edu min @drashwathcn must tell what the govt is doing to safeguard students pic.twitter.com/5YBvBhb9EJ
— AICCTU Karnataka (@aicctukar) October 23, 2019