Following the death of a student who set himself on fire at his home near Bhuj town in Kutch district on December 29 after he was allegedly reprimanded by the principal, students at the SKLP Nursing Institute of Education and Practice in Bhuj protested on Wednesday.
Devram Varchand, a third-year Bachelor of Science (Nursing) student at the SKLP college, is accused of setting himself on fire on December 29 in the afternoon inside the rented room in Haripar village outside of Bhuj after dousing himself in gasoline.
Varchand was rushed to the GK General Hospital in Bhuj town from where he was referred to Ahmedabad civil hospital the same day. The student succum-bed to his burns on Tuesday while undergoing treatment in the Ahmedabad hospital, police said.
“Today, his father filed a complaint, alleging the student was tortured by principal and one the teachers of the college, driving him to suicide. We are in the process of registering an accidental death case in this connection,” said Saurabh Singh, superintendent of Kutch West police.
On Wednesday, college students held protests outside the Shree Kutchi Leuva Patel Samaj (SKLP)-run institution, carrying posters of Devram and shouting demands for “justice” for him.
“Devram would speak out against matters that he believed were unfair to students with lecturers and the principal. This infuriated the principal and one of the lecturers, one of Devram’s classmates told The Indian Express, adding that Devram missed class on December 28 due to a fever. The principal called him to his cabin on December 29 in the morning and inquired as to why Devram had submitted fake medical records to support his claim of being ill the day before.
Devram hailed from the Rapar taluka of Kutch district’s Amrapar village, which is located on Khadir island. Ganesh, his father, is a farmer.
Students held a candlelight vigil on the shores of Hamirsar Lake to demand justice for the student under the direction of advocate HS Ahir. The principal and one faculty member were torturing the student mentally, but the police aren’t charging them, according to Ahir.
The SP refuted the accusation, stating that “An FIR cannot be registered solely on the basis of allegations.” We have filed a case of accidental death and will begin an investigation. We will file charges of aiding suicide against the teachers and principal if any criminal activity is discovered on their part.