Kottayam: The BVM Holy Cross College at Cherpunkal is at fault for the incidents that led to the suicide of graduate student Anju P Shaji, the sub-committee of the MG University syndicate that looked into the matter has said. However, the college did not deliberately trouble her, the committee’s interim report submitted to the vice-chancellor said.
It said the college showed a lack of common sense in dealing with the student. It also said it will come out with recommendations to prevent such cases in future.
The committee’s findings:
• The college was wrong in releasing the CCTV footage and Anju P Shaji’s hall ticket without the MG University’s permission.
• After finding the pencil notes, the college made her sit in the hall for 32 minutes. She could have been put through mental agony by making her sit with the other students writing the exam. Rule states that students should be allowed to leave the hall only after 30 minutes of the start of the exam, but the college authorities did not have the common sense to realise that this does not apply to students accused of malpractice.
• The invigilator should have taken the student to the principal’s room and sought an explanation. The tragedy could have been averted if the college had taken some precautions when she left the hall. The college did not take her address or phone number.
• Since she was the student of a private institution, the college did not have her phone or address details. Hence, it could not inform her parents about the incident at the exam hall.
• All concerned should try to ensure that students who leave their homes with hall tickets do not return as dead bodies. A detailed report will be released with recommendations to prevent this.
• The committee did not examine the original hall ticket as it was in the custody of the police. It could not also take the statements of the other students who were present in the hall. Hence, it will look into the allegation of malpractice in the next stage of its investigation, the committee said.
Anju P Shaji, a 20-year-old undergraduate Commerce student apparently committed suicide on May 7 by jumping into the Meenachil River in Kottayam.
She appeared for her final semester examination at the BVM College on Saturday. Midway through the examination, the college officials seized her answer sheet alleging that she had committed fraud. She left the college a few hours later, and her body was recovered from Meenachil river on Monday.
Anju's death has raised a lot of hue and cry with her parents and relatives alleging that BVM College officials were making false allegation against her.
On Tuesday, her father Shaji had lodged a complaint against the invigilator and principal with Kottayam District Police Chief G Jaidev. “The principal should be arrested,” he had demanded.
The Kerala Women's Commission had registered a suo motu case into the death.