Darshan Solanki, an Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IITB) student who allegedly committed suicide, told his mother that caste-based prejudice occurred on the institute’s campus, according to a chargesheet filed in the case by police. It was also reported that he told his mother over the phone that his fellow students’ behavior altered when they learnt about his caste. The mother’s statement is included in the chargesheet filed by the city police on Tuesday before a special court under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. Arman Khatri, a fellow student who was arrested for allegedly abetting the suicide, was named in the chargesheet. Solanki, a first-year B-Tech (Chemical) student from Ahmedabad, allegedly fell to his death from the seventh storey of a hostel building on the IITB campus in Mumbai’s Powai neighborhood on February 12, 2023, a day after the semester exams completed.
Khatri allegedly threatened to kill Solanki after the latter spoke ‘offensively’ about religion, according to the police. According to Solanki’s mother’s police testimony, during a phone call in December 2022, Solanki told his sister that there was caste prejudice at the elite institute. When his friends found out about his caste, their behaviour changed, according to Solanki’s mother in the statement. According to the chargesheet, Solanki discussed this with his sister again when he visited them in January 2023 over the Makar Sankranti holiday.
According to his mother, on February 12, about 12.20 p.m., he called his mother and said he would visit home on February 14 and that they should invite all their relatives for a get-together. Only two hours later, Solanki’s father received a call notifying him that his son had fallen, according to the statement.mIn their statements, Solanki’s sister and aunt also stated he endured discrimination and saw changes in the behavior of other classmates after learning of his caste.