IIT B student death: Mumbai police team record parents statement; Mevani calls for SIT probe

Congress leader Jignesh Mevani pays tribute to Darshan Solanki: PTI Photo

Mumbai: A team of Mumbai police visited Gujarat on Thursday to record the statements of the parents of Indian Institute of Technology Bombay student Darshan Solanki who died allegedly by suicide on the campus, an official said.

Meanwhile, Congress MLA and Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani on Thursday demanded probe by a Special Investigation Team (SIT) into the death to find out whether it was a case of murder, caste discrimination or ragging.

A three-member team from Powai police under whose jurisdiction the premier institute is located reached Solanki's home at Maninagar in Ahmedabad city in the morning, an official said.

Solanki's family on Wednesday had claimed that he faced discrimination at the IIT B for belonging to a Scheduled Caste community and suspected foul play in his death.

The police team will now ask them whether they have to say anything more in the case or if they have any complaint against anybody, he said.

Solanki (18), a first-year student of BTech (chemical), died allegedly after jumping off the seventh floor of a hostel building on the Powai campus of the IIT on Sunday (February 12).

A student organisation at IIT B had alleged that Solanki faced discrimination over his caste.

The IIT Bombay administration on Tuesday rejected charges of caste bias in the institute and said initial inputs from the deceased's friends suggested there was no discrimination.

Call for candle march
The Congress leader from Gujarat said the Dalit community has given a call for a nationwide candle march on February 19 in support of Solanki.

Mevani said, "Darshan's father Ramesh Solanki told me that he was not even allowed to see the face of his dead son when he went there to collect the body. He was told different things over phone by the institute, and the IIT Bombay professors told different stories. The entire issue appears suspicious."

"Since the incident is suspicious, the student's family members and the Dalit community believe this could be the case of murder, caste-based discrimination and ragging," Mevani said.

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