The whole campus at IIT Kanpur started protesting after the death of a 26-year old Ph.D student on Monday, August 8. After a four-day long agitation, the protests were called off as the IIT administration bowed to the demands of the students. The classes also resumed at the institute as the demands were met.
On Monday afternoon, Ph.D. scholar Alok Kumar Pandey complained of sudden chest pain and neck pain. He was immediately taken to the institute’s health centre. The brother of the deceased, Adarsh Kumar Pandey, said that the health department had injected his brother without conducting any medical tests. Alok was later referred to cardiology centre, but he died on the way to the hospital. A mail was also sent to the students by the president of IIT-Kanpur Students’ Gymkhana, which said that Alok’s health started deteriorating within ten minutes of his visit to the health centre.
Students blamed four employees of the institute that include a doctor for the untimely death. Over hundred students blocked the GT Road on Tuesday and started protesting and have been blaming the institute for the negligence. Adarsh has also lodged a complaint and a FIR has been registered under Section 304B (death by negligence) against Dr. Kishore, the warden, guide Kamal Kekar and the hospital administrator. Meanwhile, Adarsh also made a statement saying that his brother was mistreated and tortured in the campus hostel. The Director of IIT- Kanpur, Indranil Manna denied that Alok was mistreated and tortured in the hostel. He also said that a team of three specialist doctors has been formed to investigate the incident.
Chief Medical Officer of the Institute’s Health Centre, Mamta Vyas, said that exact protocol was followed as per the demand of the situation and at the same time, the allegations against them are false.
The protesting students had four demands : a FIR should be lodged by the Institute only so that investigation can be made; all those people involved to be suspended until the matter is solved; the institute will have to pay the expense and not the boy’s family and a review session to be conducted which will include every one.
IAC accepted these demands and released a statement on August 11, that reads, “on-duty doctor on the night of Alok’s demise, Shailendra Kishore will be put under deemed suspension until the completion of enquiry by the Fact Finding Committee.”
The statement also included that the Director would soon initiate ex-gratia payment of Rs. 8 lakh to overcome immediate financial hardships of the family of Mr. Alok Pandey at the earliest. Additionally, the Director promised that he would forward the petition of Alok’s brother to the HRD Ministry for redressal and a compensation of Rs. 50 lakh for sympathetic consideration.