A 27-year-old research fellow from the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) was found hanging from the ceiling fan of a room in Munirka on Monday, according to reports. Police found no suicide note from the room in which J. Muthukrishanan, a Dalit student and a friend Rohith Vemula, who killed himself in a similar manner last year, was found dead.
The student, who was known on the campus as 'Krish', studied history at the Hyderabad University before coming to JNU for an MPhil in modern history last year, the Telegraph reported. Muthukrishanan was politically active on the campus and part of last year's protest against the administration after the death of Vemula.
A report in the DNA and the Telegraph stated that the police received a call a little after 5 PM pm that a person had locked himself in a room at house no196 in Munirka Vihar, where a South Korean IT professional, a friend of Muthukrishanan, lived. "Muthukrishanan had gone to his house for lunch and had locked himself in a room saying he wanted to sleep," additional DCP Chinmoy Biswal told the Telegraph.
When the police forced open the door, they found him hanging from the ceiling fan. His friends described him as a "brilliant student."
JNUSU president Mohit Pandey condoled Muthukrishanan's death and said he had met the scholar even a day before his death. "I knew him not only as an activist but also as a brilliant student coming from marginalised community," he told DNA.
Muthukrishanan's last Facebook post, on 10 March, now flooded with condolence messages, provides a poignant a glimpse into his world.
"There is no Equality in M.phil/phd Admission, there is no equalitiy (sic) in Viva – voce, there is only denial of equality, denying prof. Sukhadeo thorat recommendation, denying Students protest places in Ad – block, denying the education of the Marginal's. When Equality is denied everything is denied," he wrote.
Muthukrishanan's friend G. Suresh said he "was a very friendly guy. We don't know any reason why he did this. I heard that his sister was due to get married soon, but he never mentioned anything about being depressed."
He was actively involved in protests after Vemula's death. This is what he wrote in a blog post.
I remembered myself with Rohith. I met Rohith six times. First time, I met Rohith at the south-campus shop com during a protest rally from the north campus. He was wearing a light gray color shirt, while me and prashanth was in a black shirt. He was enthusiastically raising slogans. That time I wondered why I never raised slogans. May be the language barrier, I told myself. But I was amazed with his leadership skills.
In a Facebook post from August, 2016, Muthukrishanan, who came from a poor economic background, wrote about his first flight from Hyderabad to Delhi and the sense of pride and freedom it gave him.
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"Once I asked my parents, 'see my friends all are flying, why don't you give me some money to fly' and then my father said, 'we can't give you that much money, but we gave you good birth and health', work and fly your own money...
Very recently I seen many people using flight as local suburban bus, with their parents money, and somebody with people's money. But I always thought at least once I should fly with my own money. So here, the dream came true.
I worked in a project, got enough of money and I went by flight for the first time."