A final year Dalit student who had come to Gorakhpur University to write her semester examination was found hanging on the noose under suspicious circumstances in the storeroom of the Deendayal Upadhyay Gorakhpur University (DDU) in BJP ruled Uttar Pradesh.
20-year-old Priyanka was a final year BSc student enrolled in the Home Science department of the university. A resident of Shivpur Sahabajganj Pokhro Tola of the Gulriha police station area, Priyanka had come to the university to appear in an exam at Diksha Bhavan from 9 am on Saturday.
Priyanka finished her exam at 10:30 am and was last seen at around 12 noon when she was on her way to the washroom located in the Home Science Department. Later on, other students saw her body hanging from the noose in the gallery near the storeroom and reported it to the Department Head Dr. Divyarani. The Head of the Department informed the Chief Proctor and Cantt Police about the incident.
The body was identified after a bag containing BSc Home Science 3rd year question paper, Aadhar card, Mobile etc. was found lying on a table on the spot by the forensic team and the SSI Cantt Pravindra Rai that reached the campus following the intimation by the University administration. The police then informed the parents of the deceased.
The university administration has said that the student died by suicide. However, the police say that the cause of death will be clear after the post-mortem report.
Police and University Admin Have a Past of Working Against Dalit Students
Gorakhpur University is notorious for caste-based discrimination on the campus and many students have complained about it in the past as well. On the question of justice, the university administration, the government, and the police all stand together against the Dalits. The horrific incident has caused an uproar amongst the Dalit communities and demands for a fair investigation and trial are being raised.
In 2018, Deepak, a Dalit research scholar tried to commit suicide after being fed up with caste-based targeting on the campus. However, Deepak’s life was saved due to immediate medical facilities.
Deepak Kumar says that in his case, the government in cahoots with the university administration together covered up the whole matter. He further added that a similar pattern might be followed in Priyanka’s case.
Priyanka’s father Vinod told the police that she had skipped breakfast before she left home for the university but everything else was going well in the house.
The university administration has informed about the alleged suicide of the student. The investigation is going on taking into consideration all possible causes. The cause of death will be clear after the post-mortem report comes, SP City Sonam Kumar said.
The ‘Suicide Theory’ is Highly Questionable
Questioning the police’s theory of categorising the incident as a suicide, Kumar says that if Priyanka had to commit suicide, she did not have to come to the university to do that, she could have done that at her home.
On the other hand, the father of the late student Priyanka says that both her feet were on the ground. The watch was missing from his wrist. He also said that her throat was slit, but to make it appear like a suicide, a noose is made and put around the neck.
Is this how one dies by suicide? He asks and goes on to say that his daughter has been wronged and did not commit suicide.
Priyanka did not have any quarrel or dispute with anyone. She was very simple and focused on her studies. The family members never said anything to her out of anger. In fact, she was the most loved daughter in the house, Priyanka’s sister told.
Meanwhile, the Gorakhpur police and the University administration, and the government together are to cover up the matter and suppress the case by making it appear to be a suicide.
A teacher who was present on the campus for examination duty said that they have seen the dead body up close and it did not look like a suicide in any way.
The teacher asked that the semester examination was being held in the adjacent Diksha Bhavan. When all the departments were closed, why was the storeroom of the Home Science Department open?
Many questions are being raised, the answers to which will have to be found by both the police administration and the university administration.
The report was first published on janchowk.com