Three women students from a private medical college in Tamil Nadu’s Villupuram district drowned themselves in a well near their college as part of a suicide pact, police said on Sunday. A note recovered from the spot accused the management of the naturopathy and yoga college of pushing them into taking the extreme step.
Police said the bodies of the deceased – identified as T Monisha, E Saranya and V Priyanka (all 19-year-olds) – were found floating in the well by local residents on Saturday. They had reportedly tied themselves together with a dupatta before jumping into the water.
College correspondent Vasugi Subramanian and his son Sudhakar, also a student, have been detained for questioning.
The suicide note from the three women, who had just returned from the Pongal holidays, alleged that the college administration had been charging exorbitant fees from them. Officials of the institute were also accused of discriminating against some students because they had gained admission through merit, and were therefore exempt from paying substantial sums of money as fees.
The parents of the victims alleged on local television that the institute management was squarely responsible for the tragedy, and demanded that appropriate action be taken against them. They also planned to take out a protest along with college students on Sunday.
“Request all to stand in solidarity with three students who have been the victims of management’s apathy,” M Tamilarasan, father of one of the dead students, was quoted by ANI as saying.
Rqst all to stand in solidarity with 3 students who've been victims of mngmnt's apathy-M Tamilarasan,Victim's father pic.twitter.com/A3kkAhICac— ANI (@ANI_news) January 24, 2016
Police said the bodies have been sent for autopsy, and would be handed to the parents upon their return. Though a case was registered, no arrests were made in this regard until Sunday morning.
A few months ago, many students from the college had gone on strike after taking on the administration over alleged abuse and overcharging of fees. A few of them had even attempted suicide last October by consuming rat poison, but managed to survive.