IIT Kharagpur panel seeks reports in Faizan Ahmed death case

IIT Kharagpur panel seeks reports in Faizan Ahmed death case

A fact-finding committee of IIT Kharagpur has written to various offices of the institute seeking to know what actions they took after hearing about the death of Faizan Ahmed and the removal of his body by police. 

The committee was set up in October to probe the death of the third-year student, whose partially decomposed body was found in a hostel room on the campus on October 14.

The action-taken report sought from the offices concerned “will help our enquiry to ascertain the fact in terms of action taken by the institute and their offices,” says a notice that was sent by the fact-finding committee.

A writ petition by Faizan’s parents in Calcutta High Court says: “No ambulance was arranged from the IIT hospital to carry what remained of the deceased student to the government hospital morgue.”

“According to the students, the authorities did not feel it necessary to call a doctor or medical attendant from the IIT hospital, a normal reaction of any ordinary mortal in such an emergent crisis,” the petition says.

The fact-finding committee has sought action-taken reports from the warden of the Lala Lajpat Rai Hall of Residence, office of the dean of students’ affairs, chairman of the Hall Management Centre, head of  BC Roy Technology Hospital, senior security officer and faculty adviser, and others.

Faizan’s body was found in a room at the Lala Lajpat Rai hall. 

The IIT administration had on October 21 tendered “unconditional apologies” and taken “responsibility for the lapses that occurred in the handling of the situation” following the death of the student. 

Sources on the campus said that since the lapses had also been referred to in the writ petition, the fact-finding committee is trying to get details on the kind of actions that were initiated by the respective offices after Faizan’s death. 

“The IIT director has been given an opportunity by the court to file another affidavit in connection with the writ petition during the next hearing, scheduled for January 24, 2023. The report of the committee is expected to be submitted in the form of an affidavit. We hope the action-taken reports that have been sought will also be mentioned in the affidavit,” said a source.

“The Director, IIT, Kharagpur, may use any affidavit enclosing therewith and bring on record any other reports as he may deem fit and necessary,” Justice Rajasekhar Mantha, of the high court, said in his order on Wednesday while striking down the IIT lawyer’s plea to excuse the director, V.K. Tewari, from a physical appearance in the court on January 24.