On March 25, 2023, a student at the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay, allegedly took his own life, and a month later, Arman Khatri, another student at the institute, was arrested for abetting the suicide. However, on May 7, 2023, a special SC/ST court granted Khatri bail in connection with the case.
Khatri had been booked under Section 306 (abetment of suicide) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989. The latter is a law designed to prevent discrimination against members of India’s marginalized communities, such as Dalits and Adivasis. It is unclear at this time whether Khatri’s alleged involvement in the suicide had any connection to the victim’s caste or tribal identity.
The case has garnered significant attention, as it has shed light on the issue of mental health among students in India’s highly competitive academic environment. Students at IITs and other top institutes are under immense pressure to excel academically, and this can take a toll on their mental health. In recent years, there have been several cases of students at these institutes taking their own lives.
The issue has prompted calls for greater support for students’ mental health and well-being. Some have suggested that the institutes should provide more counseling services, while others have called for a more fundamental rethinking of the academic culture at these institutions.
The case of Arman Khatri and the suicide of his fellow student at IIT Bombay is a tragic reminder of the need to prioritize mental health and well-being in India’s academic culture. While it remains to be seen what the outcome of the case will be, it is clear that this is a deeply complex issue that requires a multifaceted approach to address.