About 1,500 angry students of IIT-Kharagpur gathered outside the bungalow of the institute’s director Prof. Damodar Acharya to protest against the death of a third year electrical engineering student.
Twenty-year-old Rohit Kumar died because proper medical treatment was not available on the campus. Acharya offered to resign, owning moral responsibility for the death after protesting students pelted stones at his house, car and office.
On Sunday morning Kumar went to the B.C. Roy Technology Hospital in the institute’s campus, complaining of headache. According to his friends, the doctors said Kumar had an epileptic attack and they wouldn’t be able to treat him.
They made him wait for two hours and sent him back with medicines. On his way to the hostel, he fell from the rickshaw and students noticed foam coming out of his mouth. They then rushed Kumar back to the hospital, where the doctors said they did not have the facilities to treat him.
The hospital arranged for an ambulance and sent Kumar to Apollo Hospital in Kolkata, 120 km away, with two of his friends.
“On the way, Rohit started vomiting blood and his friends did not get his pulse. It was then that they realised his condition was too serious. So instead of Kolkata, they took Kumar to Midnapore Hospital, where he was declared brought dead.
“Rohit could have survived if he had received treatment on the campus or if the doctors had accompanied him,” said a friend of the deceased student, who did not want to be named. A faculty member said the IIT-K administration had paid no heed to repeated demands for proper medical facilities on the campus.