Sunday, December 10, 2023

Tribal student dies by suicide in IIT Delhi, student groups call it “caste violence”

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A final year student from tribal community, Ayush Ashna (20), died by suicide in Indian Institutes of Technology Delhi on 8 July 8.

Ashna hails from Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh. He was staying in the Udaigiri Hostel on the campus and was enrolled in the institute’s summer course.

The Ambedkar Periyar Phule Study Circle (APPSC), a student’s organisation in IIT Delhi, alleged that the recent death highlights how unwelcoming the institute is for students from Scheduled Castes and Tribes to address “institutional casteism, bullying, and constant questioning of SC/ST students’ merits.”

The APPSC has also organised a candlelight march on Thursday, July 13, in solidarity with Ayush.

“APPSC IIT-Delhi condemns this caste violence, and stands against institutional murders of SC/ST students at IITs. We will not sit back and relax like your savarna faculties and environment,” read the Dalit Adivasi Bahujan group’s statement.

Ayush’s death comes months after the death of Darshan Solanki, a Dalit student of IIT Bombay. Darshan (19), a chemical engineering student from Ahmedabad in Gujarat, died by suicide at the campus on February 12, a day after his semester exams ended.

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