Republished from Times of India, January 17, 2017
A 3rd year civil engineering student at Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, Lokesh Meena aged 20 years committed suicide for no apparent reason by walking 20 kilometers from the campus and throwing himself before a moving train. Meena was missing from Radha Krishnan Hall since Sunday morning. After the matter was reported to the hostel warden in the evening by his friends a search ensued.
The news was published by the national daily on the first anniversary of Dalit Research Scholar, Rohith Vemula's death.
Since morning however, friends of Meena had tried to locate him at various classrooms, hostels and even canteens. But after failing to find him out, the matter was reported to the warden. Immediately a complaint was lodged at Hijli police outpost. A team of team officials started a search operation. Around evening a body was recovered from the railway tracks between Jakpur and Madpur.
The institute officials along with police reached the Kharagpur sub-divisional hospital and identified the body of Lokesh. The student was a resident of Dhasa district in Rajasthan, Digheria village.
Father of Lokesh – Rammpal Meena was informed by the IIT officials. He took a flight to Kolkata and reached the campus on Monday morning. He identified his son.
A post mortem was conducted on the body which was later handed over to the family.
Kharagpur GRP informed that the incident had taken place on Sunday around 8am. “We got an information around 9:30. A loco engine which was moving on the middle line mowed him down as Lokesh jumped before the moving train. The engine driver informed the railway staff at Jakpur station. We then rushed to the spot,” said a senior GRP official.
A police team who interrogated friends of Lokesh were informed that the student was suffering from anxiety and depression. “We have been told that Lokesh was detected with Tuberculosis and also had other health issues. We have also got the information that the student had spoken to someone at length just before committing suicide. We are now trying to speak to his father who has already arrived in the Kharagpur campus. Now we are trying to find out if any personal loss or family affair was the triggering point for Lokesh to end his life,” added another senior police official.
SP Bharati Ghosh said that a student had committed suicide. “The local Kharagpur town police station has ended an investigation. The GRP is also conducting a separate inquiry,” added SP Ghosh.
Director of IIT-Kharagpur, Partha Pratim Chakraorty said it was a very sad day for the institute. “Lokesh was a good student and didn’t have any issue related to academics. Also the friends didn’t inform us about any apparent depression or signs of anxiety,” said Chakraborty. “We have a counselling centre at IIT-Kharagpur which is a first of its kind among the higher education institutes. The centre has intervened many a times and ensured that students get back to their usual self, leaving all anxiety behind. Unfortunately in this case they couldn’t get time to meet Lokesh,” added the director.