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NUJS student jumps from roof, dies; NUJS claims it’s appointed counsellor

Wasim Iqbal RIP
Wasim Iqbal RIP
NUJS Kolkata student Wasim Iqbal died last night in what is presumed to have been a suicide triggered in part by exam pressures. The college claimed it had appointed a counsellor for students two weeks ago.

Final year student Iqbal is understood to have died yesterday night after he was witnessed jumping from a terrace of the boys hostel, as his mother was waiting outside.

Students who knew Iqbal said that he was a friendly and creative person, who enjoyed writing and music. One faculty member described him as “super bright”.

But according to several campus sources, Iqbal had failed several repeat exams, which would have required him to repeat his final year of college. He was also known to have suffered from psychological problems. Several sources close to the college added that the university was very strict about enforcing exam pass grades, particularly with respect to repeat exam takers.

NUJS registrar Dr Surajit C Mukhopadhyay said that everyone was shocked about the incident, and added that the university did not have any warning of his mental state. He defended the examination process, and said: “The university is there to examine students and to make them pass and make them fail. It is a fair process.”

Mukhopadhyay added that the college had appointed a counsellor for students on campus a week-and-a-half ago.

However, several students and other sources close to the college contacted by Legally India said that they were not aware of any counselling services being available to them, apart from counselling for civil service exam aspirants. The availability of counselling was also not mentioned at today’s memorial service, according to a source.

NUJS vice chancellor Dr Ishwara Bhat was not reachable for comment.

Earlier this month, RMLNLU Lucknow student Satnam Singh Mann was killed in judicial custody, allegedly by police, having suffered from psychological illness.

In 2006 NLSIU Bangalore student Meghana Reddy reportedly hanged herself, and the judicial report on NLSIU by Justice KT Thomas also mentioned another suicide at the college.

In 2009, Nalsar Hyderabad student Venkat Ram Reddy was reported to have committed suicide.

In 2010 a student from Pune’s Deccan Education Society Law College reportedly committed suicide after allegedly having been ragged by a group of other students.

Last week Legally India covered ragging in law schools, which has decreased in recent years at the major law schools though a ragging culture still persists.

One academic said that the best thing for law schools to have would be a renowned counsellor whom students can approach, adding that invariably counsellorship will also have to be performed by faculty, staff and senior students. “It has to be an overall ecosystem issue that everyone has to come together,” argued the academic.

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