18-Year-Old IIT Bombay Student Jumps from Hostel Building, Dies by Suicide

The local Powai Police registered an accidental death case, and said there is no clarity yet on what led the student to take the extreme step.

New Delhi: An 18-year-old student at the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IIT-B) died by suicide after he jumped from the eighth floor of his hostel building on Sunday, February 12 afternoon.

The deceased, Darshan Solanki, hailed from Ahmedabad and was a first-year student of Chemical Engineering. Some of the eyewitnesses – students and security guards on the campus – informed the local Powai police about the body of the youth in a pool of blood.

“The student jumped from the refuge area of the eighth floor at around 1 pm on Sunday. He was rushed to the hospital on the campus, where he was declared dead before admission,” said an officer with the Powai Police Station, according to Hindustan Times.

Senior inspector Budhan Sawant told Mid-Day that a case of accidental death has been reported and a probe is underway. The police have not found any suicide note and there are no indications of foul play so far.

Soon after the incident, institute director Subhasis Chaudhuri put out a condolence message and sent out a message to students on the campus. “We regret to inform the loss of a first-year student in a tragic incident this afternoon. Powai Police is investigating the case. The parents of the student have been informed and they are on their way. We deeply mourn the death of the student and pray that the family gets the strength to bear this loss. May his soul rest in peace,” read the message, according to Indian Express.

Also read: ‘Academic Distress’ and Student Suicides in India: A Crisis That Needs to be Acknowledged

There is no clarity yet on what prompted the student in question to take the extreme step. He had joined and had only been on the campus for just three months. The first semester exams concluded on Saturday, February 11. Officials and students from the institution said they cannot conclusively say whether it was academic pressure that led to the suicide – as has been the case in past instances of suicides recorded at various premier institutes in the country.

Condoling the death of their fellow student, Dastak, a students’ collective on the campus, took out a candlelight march on Sunday, February 13 evening.

“For most of them, this is their first year away from their homes. They are very new to campus life. And a tragic incident of this nature within three-four months of their first year in the institute can really be disturbing for them,” said a student from a senior year, requesting anonymity, told Indian Express. He also added that all rooms in this hostel are double occupancy so that everyone has a roommate.

According to the National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB), in 2020, a student took their own life every 42 minutes; that is, every day, more than 34 students died by suicide.

Note: If you know someone – friend or family member – at risk of suicide, please reach out to them. The Suicide Prevention India Foundation maintains a list of telephone numbers they can call to speak in confidence. Icall, a counselling service run by TISS, has maintained a crowdsourced list of therapists across the country. You could also take them to the nearest hospital.