A research scholar of Delhi’s prestigious Jawaharlal Nehru University allegedly committed suicide in the city’s Munirka area on Monday evening.
Muthukrishnan Jeevanantham, 27, was an alumnus of the University of Hyderabad. The Dalit student was found hanging from the ceiling at his friend’s home . The reasons behind his death were not clear.
Police said he was depressed over personal issues, and added no suicide note had been found.
Jeevanantham, a native of Tamil Nadu’s Salem, wrote about discrimination against Dalits in one of his last Facebook posts.
“There is no Equality in M.phil/PhD Admission, there is no equality in Viva - voce, there is only denial of equality…When equality is denied everything is denied. ” the March 10 post said.
Sannaki Munna, a student leader of the University of Hyderabad, said Jeevanantham, also known as Krish, completed his masters degree in history in 2012, and later completed his MPhil at the institute.
“He got admission to a PhD (course) in our university, but his dream was to study at the JNU. When he got admission there after several attempts, he shifted last year,” Munna told HT.
He said Jeevanantham was very active in the ‘Justice for Rohit Vemula’ movement and was part of the Ambedkar Students’ Association (ASA) at the University of Hyderabad.
Last January, PhD student Rohith Vemula killed himself at the University of Hyderabad after alleged caste-based discrimination, triggering protests across India. He was suspended by the university authorities for confronting right-wing students’ group ABVP.
“He (Jeevanantham) was terribly upset after Rohith’s death and keen that justice should be done to him (Rohith) and his mother, Radhika Vemula,” Dontha Prashant, a research scholar at the University of Hyderabad, said.
Prashant, who was suspended from the university along with Vemula, said a team of students from his university would leave for the Jawaharlal Nehru University.
There was no evidence that Jeevanantham killed himself owing to any issues at the university, said a police officer.
A PCR call was received at 5.05pm on Monday that a person had locked himself in a room at a house in Munirka Vihar, said another officer.
On reaching the spot, police forced open the door as a portion of the latch was uprooted from inside, he said. Jeevanantham was found hanging from the ceiling fan.
“He had come to his friends’ house this afternoon to have food. He said he wanted to sleep and went to a room and locked himself inside.
“Later his friends called him out and on getting no response, they called the police,” he said.
(With agency inputs)