Muthu Krishnan MPhil student in JNU. image courtesy :The New Indian Express

A 27-year-old student of JNU allegedly committed suicide due to depression in south Delhi’s Munirka area on Monday evening.

J. Muthukrishnan, a 27-year-old Ph.D student of Jawaharlal Nehru University allegedly committed suicide in south Delhi’s Munirka Vihar on Monday evening. The student from Tamil Nadu was found hanging from a ceiling fan inside his friend’s house.

The deceased,Muthu Krishna was a student of MPhil in JNU. No suicide note has been found, but his Facebook post regarding the student admissions in PHD programme is going viral among students of university.

Muthu, who was known to friends on Facebook as Krish Rajini, was from Salem, Tamil Nadu. He was a student at the University of Hyderabad when fellow Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula committed suicide in January 2016 and had blogged about meeting Rohith and his mother, Radhika.

A PCR call was received at 5.05 PM that a person had locked himself in a room at a house in Munirka Vihar, said a senior police officer. On reaching the spot, police forced open the door and a young man was found hanging from the ceiling fan.

“He had come to his friends’ house this afternoon to have food. He said he wanted to sleep and went to a room and locked himself inside.

Later his friends called him out and on getting no response, they called the police,” the officer said. Amal PP, JNUSU vice president told sources that Muthu had participated in Holi celebrations on campus on Monday. He said he was tired and left to rest at his friend’s place in Munrika Vihar at 1.30 pm.

“He sounded sad and depressed. But did not talk much,” according to one of Muthu Krishna’s friends from UoH Pallikonta Manikanda who is also a research scholar at JNU. His friends knocked on the door two hours later and grew suspicious when he did not open the door.

Muthu Krishnan’s Facebook post, dated March 10, had ended saying:  “When equality is denied everything is denied. There is no Equality in M.Phil/PhD admissions, there is no equality in viva voce, there is only denial of equality, denying Prof. Sukhadeo Thorat recommendation, denying students protest places in Ad block, denying the education of the Marginals.”

This appears to be a reference to the Ad-Block movement at JNU wherein students and faculty have opposed adoption of a May 2016 UGC notification that changes admission norms for MPhil and PhD students.

The procedure followed by JNU in adopting the notification is being challenged in the Delhi High Court.

But the police said it was not yet sure if discrimination at the university was a factor in his death, according to police official’s.No suicide note has been found till now, police said.

Till now no evidence has been found that the extreme step was taken by the student owing to any issues at the university, said a senior police officer. He is said to have been depressed for sometime over some personal issues, he added.

Muthukrishnan belonged to a very poor family from Salem city. His father Jeevanantham is employed as a watchman in a private concern and his mother is daily wage labourer. Muthukrishnan has an elder sister and two younger sisters. The family was informed of the tragedy over the phone by JNU authorities late on Monday.

An inconsolable Mr. Jeevanantham told presspersons that Muthukrishnan had always been very bold and took part in various agitations while doing his M.Phil in Hyderabad.

Voicing suspicion over the alleged suicide by his son, Mr. Jeevanantham said he, Muthukrishnan, was not a coward to end his life in such a manner. He demanded a proper enquiry to bring the true facts to light.

According to his family sources, Muthukrishnan from a Dalit community, completed his Bachelors and Masters in History from the Government Arts College in the city and later did his B.Ed at a private college in Coimbatore. He earned an M. Phil from the University of Hyderabad and joined JNU three years ago for a Ph.D in Modern History.


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