Severe ragging caused the death of yet another youngster on Tuesday. Dande Devender Kumar, 22, studying for a Masters in Computer Applications at a leading city institute, committed suicide by throwing himself in front of an approaching train.
His body was found on the railway tracks at Dharmaram in Warangal district, 140 km from Hyderabad. Police said they found a suicide note in his pocket claiming he was unable to put up with the ragging by his seniors.
Earlier on March 9 this year, a 19-year-old medical student in Himachal Pradesh was beaten up so badly while he was being ragged in the institute premises, that he died. On March 13, 20-year-old V. Triveni, an agriculture engineering student at Bapatla in Andhra too attempted suicide after her seniors made her dance in the nude.
Devender, belonging to a poor weaver’s family in Choppadandi village of nearby Karimnagar district, was a second year student at the Vasavi Engineering College, a top privately owned institute in Hyderabad.
“He had come home but left on June 3, saying he had to appear for his semester examinations on June 9,” said his father D. Sankaraiah. “We never heard from him after that. We thought he was too busy studying.”
The family had reposed great hopes in Devender. His elder brother Madhusudhan became a weaver like his father, unable to study beyond graduation because of financial constraints.
“We want stringent action against the seniors responsible and the college management,” said Sankaraish. “We had complained to the college management three time earlier about the ragging that was going on. We had even submitted the names of the boys who were Devender’s chief tormentors.. But no one did anything.”
“I went to his institute and tried to reason with the people who were harassing him,” said Madhusudhan. “They promised to leave him alone, but in practice, did not.
The institute’s management flatly denied Devender had been ragged. “ He was suffering from depression,” said Chengal Raju, principal. “That could have caused his suicide.”
“We have booked a case of suspicious death. We are not ruling out anything,” a police source inquiring into the matter, said.