Student death: Protests hit NIT Durgapur, president’s intervention sought

Kolkata, Nov 26 (IANS) Protests continued to rock NIT Durgapur in West Bengal on Thursday as meetings with officials of the union HRD ministry failed to dampen the unrest that started after the death of a student allegedly due to negligence and ineptitude of the institute. The agitating students have sought President Pranab Mukherjee’s intervention.

Union Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani’s intervention led to the visit of a two-member team from the ministry at the institute on Tuesday.

However, the tripartite meetings with the National Institute of Technology authorities, students’ gymkhana representatives and ministry officials failed to elicit a solution to the ongoing chaos.

“We are now appealing to President Pranab Mukherjee via Twitter to intervene. Ministry officials told us that they will continue investigating the matter. We have told them that we want the director’s removal,” an agitating student said.

Prosenjit, a fourth year engineering student, suffered persistent headaches for two days that prevented him from completing his semester paper, his classmates said.

Despite being approached repeatedly, the medical unit of the NIT failed to attend to his worsening condition or to help him to get treatment from outside.

Caught in this state of negligence and ineptitude of the medical unit, he died on November 18, students said.

The students also said that NIT director Tarkeshwar Kumar refused to speak to them and the chief warden when they approached him to discuss the issue on November 18 and that their protests had instead been responded to by the director calling over 150 riot police and RAF personnel.

The students have been protesting, holding vigils, boycotting classes, and have started an online campaign with the hashtag #JusticeForProsenjit.

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