Chennai: Arson In Sathyabama University Over Alleged Student Suicide, College Closed Till Jan 2

Poorbita Bagchi

November 24th, 2017

A 19-year-old first-year student at Sathyabama University, Tamil Nadu committed suicide on November 22 allegedly after getting caught cheating in her semester exam.

Duvvru Raga Monica carried a slip of paper to her chemistry exam and was caught by the invigilator. The invigilator warned her and she was asked to leave. She went to her room and was upset about the entire ordeal.

She sent a video of her slit wrist to her twin brother who also studies in the same college and then hanged herself. In a message she expressed that she could not face her friends or family because she was ashamed of getting caught and hence, she took the decision of ending her life.

When her brother found her, she was hanging from the ceiling. She was immediately taken to the Sathyabama Hospital which was the nearest, yet could not be saved. Her parents came and made arrangements to take her body back home in Andhra Pradesh.

On the other hand, a different story unfolded. With the news of Monica’s death, rumours also spread in the campus. Students started claiming that she was harassed by the invigilator. Another rumour spread was that the management portrayed her to be a drug addict and pregnant and hence she committed suicide. Others claimed that the management made her strip to ascertain if she had hidden notes to cheat in the exam.   

These rumours fuelled anger among the students. They set fire to college property. Mattresses from the boy’s hostel were set on fire. Library and the mess were vandalised. The power was cut. When a fire truck tried to make its way into the campus, it was shooed off by protesting students. But strangely nobody was protesting about the girl’s death anymore.

Students vandalised college property

 

They started shouting slogans against the college and the hostel facilities. Students started complaining about water, room. Cleanliness and WiFi facilities. The alleged reason for the protest was soon forgotten as the students focussed on making people hear their own demands. More than 200 police officers were deployed.

The University has declared holiday till January 2 in the middle of the exam. The ongoing exams have been postponed to January. Many students came out in support of the University. They sympathised with Monica and her family but condemned the act of arson committed by some students.

The Logical Indian spoke to a third-year student of the University who said, “She was pressured because of the education system of the country where a lot of importance is given on exams.” He further added “The students who created the ruckus do not care about her death. Her death is just an excuse. They used this incident to channel their problems with the University like hostel facilities and all.”

Another student says “Because of some miscreants, our future is at stake because exams have been postponed. Now other activities will be cramped with our exams in January which will be very difficult to cope up with.”

The University registered a case against the students for arson. The police are trying to identify culprit students.

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