Stubborn attitude of security cost BTech student’s life

Stubborn attitude of security cost BTech student’s life

Hyderabad girl Duvvuru Raga Mounika, 18, first year B Tech student at Sathyabama University in Chennai, could have been alive had the security at the...

Hyderabad: Hyderabad girl Duvvuru Raga Mounika, 18, first year B Tech student at Sathyabama University in Chennai, could have been alive had the security at the girl's hostel allowed her brother Rakesh inside though he had pleaded with them for 20 minutes to allow him, telling them clearly that he was her twin brother and that she was in need of counselling very badly.

On Wednesday, after completion of his examination Rakesh found a message from Mounika at around 11.40 am, in which, she had expressed regret about trying to copy in the examination and subsequent humiliation meted out to her by the university's faculty. Later she ended her life by hanging from a ceiling fan.

Rakesh rushed to her after he received the message from her but at the entrance of the hostel, the watch and ward staff did not allow him inside asking him to prove that he was her brother. When he began crying, that too after 20 minutes, they finally allowed him but it was too late.

This proved to be the flashpoint for the students to go on the rampage in the University last night. After postmortem examination on Thursday, her body was handed over to her family members which was brought to her native village in Nellore where last rites were performed. Mounika was caught by an invigilator on Wednesday when she was indulging in malpractice while giving her second-semester examination in chemical engineering.

She was admonished and asked to leave the examination hall by the invigilating faculty member of the university. She was also barred from taking other papers in the semester examination as per the university rules.

Narrating the entire issue, Aparna (name changed) from the School of Humanities and Sciences said, “Rakesh had rushed to the girl’s hotel on seeing the message. However, the hotel security staff stopped him and asked: What is the guarantee that you are her brother? They asked him to bring a letter of proof from the Head of his department that Mounika was his sister.”

“It was against this backdrop that the students from the first year had gathered for their dinner at 7.30 pm at the mess on Wednesday and expressed their anguish over the staff and raised protests.

They were angry that they sent someone to check the condition of Mounika only when Rakesh began crying. But, it was too late that she was already hanging lifeless,” said Sri Harsha

The students had expressed their protest against open shaming of the erring students by the faculty members in the examination hall in front of everyone.

The death of Mounika had added fuel to fire and they had gone on the rampage at around 11.30 pm, after the lights were switched off, setting fire to the beds, breaking windows, to express their resentment.

Giving details of rules followed at the university, a faculty member from the School of Management Sciences said that “the normal procedure followed was that the student is asked to fill a form admitting that she or he indulged in malpractice by the invigilators.

Then, they are barred from giving the rest of the examinations in that semester." Further, it was the first incident of suicide on the campus and the way the students had reacted shook the morale of the administration, he said.

Following, the volatile situation in the campus top officials of the university held an urgent meeting on Thursday morning in the administrative block. The meeting was attended by pro-vice chancellor Mariazeena Johnson, vice-president of the management committee Marie Johnson, registrar Dr S S Rau, controller of examinations Prof Igni Sabasti Prabhu, dean of student affairs Dr G Sundari and other senior officials.

The meeting had deliberated about the possibility of taking a disciplinary action against the students who had gone on arson and rampage in the campus.

However, a decision on this has differed as any move would further add fuel to fire to the campus in unrest. Also, it was decided to suspend the ongoing examination and academic activity till January 2, till the end of the Christmas holidays of the university.

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