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Rise Of Student-Death in Indian Educational Institutions And Perspective Of Law

In recent days, student death at educational institutions has come out as common everyday news. It is enough concerning and a red sign towards the future generation. Educational Institutes are meant for teaching students, showing them the path to a brighter future. But why do these students have to cost their life?

Student Death in the news is common in various institutions but is done for multiple reasons.

Types of Death of Students:
  • Suicide
  • Homicide
  • Intoxication
  • Accident


In most of the Student Death news, it is found that the student attempted suicide.

One intentionally taking their own life is termed as Suicide.

Suicide is now an uprising issue in this era, not only for students but also for people belonging to any age group. But there are a variety of reasons behind Suicide. Let's discuss that.


Ragging[1] is a practice of abusing and harassing junior students in every possible way. In most colleges and higher education institutes, ragging is common in and out of the campus and hostels. Mainly, the seniors involve themselves in doing this over the weak junior students. Most of the time, Ragging gets overlooked by parents and elders as they try to justify it as an ordinary matter and feel like it is done over every student; everyone faces it, which is pretty common. But this ignorance floated this matter to criminal offences, and now it has become invulnerable. Every student cannot resist it. These days, ragging includes:
  1. Psychological Harassment/Bully: Psychological harassment means abusing the person through abusive words and hurting their sentiment and choice of life.
  2. Physical Torture: Beating intentionally to hurt others, making traps and provoking someone to outperform others is counted as physical torture. Ragging includes this.
  3. Caste and Religion-based Discrimination: Students from lower castes or different religions face bullying based on their origin. Seniors and batchmates mock and curse their beliefs, which is counted as harassment. If, by chance, they commit any mistake, others scroll not only them but also their family and ancestors in their abusive words, which the victim cannot tolerate.
  4. Spoiling Academic Documents: Most of the time, hostel roommates or batchmates intentionally destroy other students' academic copies, like project works, papers, practical samples, books, and certificates that are necessary for a student's life and cannot be revived after destruction. A student's final marks, grades and degree rely on those documents. A student gets depressed and tends to commit suicide as they find out they lost all that they have achieved and their years of academic training getting wasted being unable to submit their paper.
  5. Pressurizing to do Delinquency: Few mischievous students pressure juniors to do what is not just. They forcibly let them buy narcotics and drugs and push them to carry illegal kinds of stuff with them.
  6. Capturing Obscene Moments Breaking Privacy: It mainly happens in hostels. Some students, intruders per se, capture video/photos of hostel mates when they are using the washroom, either while bathing or changing. Then, they circulate the videos and pictures over social media groups, and somebody uploads them in pornographic media. It is not only harassment but also takes away the person's everyday life. They lose face to society and tend to commit suicide to end their suffering.
  7. Destroying others' Commodities: In the Hostels, jealous roommates love to break and misuse others' essential commodities, making the hostel a living hell for those students.
  8. Sexual Harassment: This most heinous crime is committed in higher educational institutions in the name of ragging.
Ragging ruins countless students' dreams and lives. Even ragging can reach such a level that we can compare it to "Nazi Holocaust". Most of these seniors find ragging as a source of entertainment. In 2001, Ragging was banned by the Supreme Court of India, and anti-ragging legislation was passed after the Homicide of Pon Navarasu. There are already so many "Student-Suicide" cases related to ragging.

Financial Issue:

Monetary inflation is becoming a more significant issue for students belonging to the family of lower financial status. Those students need help with achieving their dreams. Institution fees are getting higher daily, regardless of whether it is a government, government´┐Żaided, or private institute. Lack of financial support becomes a barrier to students' dreams. Students from rural areas come to the urban area for education. But they face a lot while paying mess/pg. Rent, food, everyday commodities prices, tuition fees, college/ institute charges, hostel fees and stationary costs. All of these become unmanageable to be paid by those students. They feel ashamed to share their conditions with their parents; they don't want to hurt them. They also can't go back to their home as they are trapped between their dilemma of whether they will be able to complete their academic career with this broken financial status or if they go back home, they will face social pressure and discrimination for being unable to complete their degree, and their parent's dignity will be lost. Finding no other ways, they choose to end their life.

Academic Pressure:

  • By Parents
  • By Institution
In India, most parents suffer from their ego that their wards should study science and pursue Medical Science or Engineering as their career. Students are mainly pressured to take science as their subject choice in higher secondary exam. No matter if they are interested in any other subjects or could do much better in those subjects. It's not always true that a student's dream career choice will be exciting or more accessible for them, and they will be able to understand and crack the related subjects without any trouble. Most students dream of being a doctor, which does not mean they love to study biology or are good at physics and chemistry. Academic pressures become a nightmare to those students who are drowning in the density of the tough subjects, fear teacher and parents' reactions, and get depressed over the poor marks they score in the examination. Out of anxiety and constant pressure from home and institute, they find no other way to escape but suicide. There are already student suicide cases preparing for all India exams, under training of ug courses and more.


Homicide is a criminal offence. It is done for some reasons:
  • Personal Dispute
  • Jealousy
  • Money lending conflict
  • Removing proof of Rape
These are common reasons behind the Homicides of students, which is increasing by a considerable number daily.


Staying with bad company, with their influence, students start doing what is not suitable for health, life and society. Students fall for narcotics, which ultimately leads to intoxication and death.

Students get intoxicated in two ways.
  • Self-Intoxication: Students start consuming sedatives and narcotics with bad influences by themselves. Overconsumption of drugs leads to death.
  • Intoxication By Others: Drugs and narcotics might be consumed by a student forcefully by others. That might lead to the death of that student.


Negligence of the Institution, others and the student himself can be the reason behind the accident.

Possible reasons behind accidents:
  • By Self
  • By Authority
  • Faulty Electric wires
  • Poor construction of balconies and roof boundaries
  • Unknown holes, traps, and loose and active electric wires can be here and there, and for no precaution notices, students might get affected by those.
  • Vehicle Accidents
Accidents can also take place without any intention but in a bad situation.

Legal Perspective
Student death by Homicide and intoxication is a heinous crime. Also, if a death occurs for negligence of an institution's authority or other, it will be counted as a tort.

Here are some Acts and their explanations on how those would be implemented:
  1. Homicide
    • IPC Section 299 - Culpable Homicide:

    • The act of causing death intentionally results in the commission of the crime of culpable homicide.
    • IPC Section 300 - Homicide:

    • Homicide becomes culpable when the act leading to death is performed to cause death.
  2. Intoxication:
    • IPC Section 85 - Act of a person incapable of judgment because of intoxication caused against his will:
    • When a person is intoxicated to the point of being unaware of the nature of their actions, any act they commit in this state is not considered an offence, provided that the intoxication is involuntary or against their will.
    • IPC Section 86 - Offence requiring a particular intent or knowledge committed by one who is intoxicated:
    • If an individual, while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, engages in an action that would not be considered a legal offence unless performed with a specific intent or knowledge, that person will be held accountable as if they possessed the same sense or knowledge as they would have if they were sober.
  3. Accident:
    • IPC Section 87 - Act not intended and not known to be likely to cause death or grievous hurt, done by consent:
    • Any action that has the potential to result in death or severe injury carried out without the knowledge of the doer is not considered a criminal offence if it is done with the consent of an individual over eighteen years of age.
  4. Suicide:
    • IPC Section 309 - Attempt to Commit Suicide:
    • A person who attempts to commit suicide and takes any steps towards executing such an act could face a penalty of a maximum of one year of simple imprisonment, a fine, or a combination of both.
    • IPC Section 306 - Abetment of suicide:
    • If an individual takes their own life, anyone who encourages or supports suicide will face a potential penalty of imprisonment, which may range up to ten years. They may also be subjected to a fine.
    • IPC Section 503 - Criminal Intimidation:
    • This section can be used in cases where someone threatens another person to cause fear or alarm, which can result in mental harassment.
  5. The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015:
    • This act addresses offences against children, including physical abuse and exploitation. It provides for the protection and welfare of children.

Physical Harm And Abuse:

  • IPC Section 323 - Punishment for voluntarily causing hurt:
    This section deals with cases where someone intentionally causes bodily harm to another person. It provides a punishment of imprisonment that may extend to one year, a fine, or both.
  • IPC Section 324 - Voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means:
    This section is invoked when physical harm is inflicted through dangerous weapons or methods. The penalty could encompass up to three years of imprisonment, a fine, or a combination of both.
  • IPC Section 354- Assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty:
    This section pertains to the physical harassment of women to violate their modesty. The penalty may involve imprisonment for up to two years, a fine, or a combination of both.
  • IPC Section 354A - Sexual harassment and punishment for sexual harassment:
    This section criminalises sexual harassment, including physical contact with a sexual intent. It provides for discipline, including imprisonment, depending on the severity of the offence.

Caste-Based Bullies

  • Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989: This act primarily aims to prevent atrocities and discrimination against individuals belonging to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. It includes provisions specifically addressing harassment, humiliation, or intimidation based on caste identity and prescribes stringent penalties for such offences.
  • Protection of Civil Rights Act, 1955: The primary goal of this act is to eradicate discrimination against Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, and it outlines penalties for various offences, such as harassment and caste-based humiliation.
  • IPC Section 153A This section aims to penalise individuals who engage in unwarranted defamation or assaults directed at the religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, and similar characteristics of a specific group or class, as well as the founders and prophets of a religion.
  • IPC Section 295A Section 295A of the Indian Penal Code prescribes penalties for deliberate and malevolent actions aimed at inflaming the religious sentiments of any community by disrespecting its faith or religious convictions. This legislation is a component of India's hate speech laws and forbids blasphemy against all religions practised in the country.
  • IPC Section 298 Speaking words with the explicit intent to hurt religious sentiments: This section makes it a criminal offence to speak words with the deliberate intention of hurting the religious feelings of any individual. It can be applied in cases involving harassment related to religious beliefs.
  • Information Technology Act, 2000: This act includes provisions related to cyberbullying and cyberstalking, which can cause significant mental distress to victims. It criminalises online activities that may constitute mental harassment, such as online threats, defamation, or stalking.

Capturing Obscene Photos:

  • IPC Section 354C - Voyeurism:
    • This section addresses capturing or sharing images of an individual involved in a private activity without their consent, intending to violate their privacy. The offence can result in a penalty of imprisonment, which may extend to three years, along with a fine.
  • IPC Section 354D - Stalking:
    • Stalking may include capturing and sharing obscene pictures or engaging in unwanted online or offline harassment. This section provides for penalties for stalking, including imprisonment and a fine.
  • The Information Technology Act, 2000:
    • IT ACT Section 66E - Violation of privacy:
      • This section deals with intentionally capturing, publishing, or sharing a person's private images without their consent. The punishment for this offence may include imprisonment and a fine.
    • IT ACT Section 67 - Publishing or transmitting obscene material in electronic form:
      • This section criminalises the electronic publication or transmission of obscene material, including explicit images or videos. The penalty for this offence includes imprisonment and a fine.
    • IT ACT Section 67A - Punishment for publishing or transmitting material containing sexually explicit acts, etc., in electronic form:
      • This section deals with publishing or transmitting sexually explicit content without the person's consent, including explicit pictures or videos. The punishment consists of imprisonment and a fine.
  • The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012:
    • This legislation explicitly safeguards children from sexual offences and contains clauses about the creation, circulation, or dissemination of sexually explicit content involving minors. Breaching these clauses can result in substantial penalties.
  • Right to Privacy:
    • The Supreme Court of India has acknowledged privacy as a fundamental right. The court has affirmed that individuals possess the right to privacy, and violating this right may result in legal consequences.

Sexual Harassment

  • IPC Section 509 - Word, gesture, or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman
    • Any person who, to offend the modesty of a woman, speaks certain words, produces specific sounds, or makes gestures, or displays objects with the intent that the woman hears the words, sees the motion, or observes the thing, or encroaches upon her privacy, may be subjected to a sentence of simple imprisonment for a period of up to three years, in addition to a fine.
  • Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition, and Redressal) Act, 2013:
    • This legislation primarily addresses workplace sexual harassment while acknowledging and addressing psychological harassment. It aims to establish a safe and respectful work environment for women.

Newspaper Articles

Mentioning some of the Highlighted news which shocked everybody,
  1. Pon Navarasu / John David Ragging Case (Physical and Mental Abuse to Homicide) Pon Navarasu, a 19-year-old student of Rajah Muthiah Medical College, Annamalai University in Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu, faced ragging from a guy named John David. He started physically assaulting Navarasu when he refused to strip and lick his footwear. Later, David Homicideed him, and Navarasu's dismembered body was found in different places in Tamil Nadu.
  2. Aman Kachroo Case (Physical and Mental Abuse to Homicide) Aman Kachroo, a 19-year-old student of Dr Rajendra Prasad Medical College, was slapped by batchmates and also seven times more by a group of 4 seniors named Ajay Verma, Naveen Verma, Mukul Sharma and Abhinav Verma. Later, for head injury, he suffered to death.
  3. Ajmal PM Case (Physical and Mental Abuse to Homicide) Ajmal PM, an aeronautical engineering student, was ragged by a group of 4 senior students who failed and were studying in his class. One day, he went to the washroom, and those 4 set the room on fire. He suffered 60% burns on his body and then passed away after a few days of this incident.
  4. Akash Agarwal Case (Suspected Suicide) Akash Agarwal, a 20-year-old Calcutta Institute of Pharmaceutical Technology student, was ragged and beaten by five seniors. Even he could not attempt a crucial exam as those five students did not let him go. Later, his body was found near railway tracks in Kolkata. This incident is still supposed to be suicide.
  5. DPS Noida Ragging Incident (Physical and Mental Abuse) A 15-year-old student of Delhi Public School Noida is ragged and bullied by his seniors, and he was ordered to strip and sit on the floor. He has been hospitalised after 17 seniors beat him up with sticks and metal rods. He was also beaten up whenever he complained about those seniors after the authority. His father made an FIR against those 17, but the school resisted him to take legal action.
  6. Bhagwat Devangan Case (Casteism to Suicide) On October 1, Bhagwat Devangan, a 28-year-old medical student, was tragically found dead by hanging in his hostel room at Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Medical College in Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh. Devangan, who originally belonged to the Other Backward Class (OBC) category but had enrolled as a general category student, reportedly endured mental and physical abuse from his seniors due to his OBC background. This incident is a stark illustration of the discrimination faced by students benefiting from reservation policies in educational institutions, with the derogatory term "quota student" being used by upper-caste individuals against those who benefit from such policies.
  7. Payal Tadvi Case (Casteism to Suicide) Exactly a year ago, 26-year-old second-year MD student Payal Tadvi, fed up with discrimination and constant humiliation from three Savarna seniors, ended her life. Payal left behind a three-page "suicide note" describing her ordeal and the medical institution's failure to stop the brutalities inflicted upon her and several other Dalit and Adivasi students. A year later, her parents, Abeda and Salim Tadvi, wrote another letter on her death anniversary. They have questioned the state and the courts for the 'laxity' shown in the investigation and continuing atrocities against Bahujan students in educational institutions.
  8. Sexual Harassment in the Name of Ragging (Sexual Harassment) Second-year students subjected first-year students to a horrifying and abusive ritual, including compelling them to undress and engage in inappropriate physical contact for several hours. What is particularly unsettling is the occurrence of these acts and the widespread support and justification they receive, particularly on IIT Kanpur's Facebook confession page. Those justifying the actions claim that it is a part of the "IIT Kanpur culture" and argue that it should not be classified as ragging or sexual harassment. They also express concern that investigations are overseen by professors who may not understand or value this so-called culture.
  9. Dalit PG student Sugat Bharat Padghan, 31 Jan 2022 (Casteism) On January 14, 2022, a 24-year-old student enrolled at GS Medical College within King Edward Memorial (KEM) Hospital in Mumbai filed a police complaint (FIR) against 17 students and two hostel wardens, accusing them of harassment through ragging and casteist slurs. Unfortunately, neither the police nor the college has taken any action to address the matter to date. In response, the Jati Ant Sangharsh Samiti and Dalit Panther Suvarna Mahotsav Samiti jointly organised a silent protest in front of KEM Hospital, urging the college to take appropriate action in the case.
  10. MBBS students arrested for ragging and assaulting Dalit college-mate in Bengaluru (Casteism) A profoundly troubling incident involving caste-based discrimination and ragging occurred at a medical college in Bengaluru. On the night of December 24, a 19-year-old freshman named Saurabh Tupe, who resided in the ESIC Medical College Boys Hostel, allegedly faced physical assault and verbal abuse from individuals belonging to the upper-caste community in Bengaluru's Rajajinagar area. While Saurabh was peacefully asleep, his seniors, including Karan Sharma, Indrajeet, Rahul Jha, Shubhav, and Gautam, who had been out drinking on Christmas Eve, reportedly barged into his room abruptly. Saurabh recounted the incident: "I was jolted awake by a forceful slap across my face delivered by Karan. He forcibly yanked me out of bed by grabbing my shirt collar. Subsequently, my seniors dragged me to the hostel's terrace, where they subjected me to verbal abuse. They falsely accused me of being a child molester and used derogatory language too offensive to repeat."
  11. School bus accident in Malda's English Bazar: The school bus lost control and overturned, and 15 students were injured (Accident) A school bus carrying approximately 50 Kendriya Vidyalaya students in Malda, West Bengal, met with an accident around 2:30 p.m. The driver lost control of the bus, causing it to fall into a ditch and overturn while the students were returning home from school. Local residents initiated rescue efforts, followed by the police. Five students sustained severe injuries in the accident.
  12. Chandigarh University video case of privacy invasion, ignorance of law: Cyber expert (Capturing Obscene Video/ Breaking Privacy) The circulation of private videos of Chandigarh University hostel girls has raised concerns about privacy and the need for prevention. Although receiving national attention due to the large number of videos, this incident is just one example of a broader issue in the country. Many similar incidents go unreported due to a lack of awareness and institutional problems like the absence of investigation protocols, training manuals, and relevant laws. Those who capture and share private videos often seem unaware of the consequences, potentially ruining lives, as evidenced by cases examined by law enforcement agencies.
  13. Student dies by suicide due to financial stress (Financial Issue to Suicide) The decomposed body of a 23-year-old engineering student, Shubham Sharma, was discovered in his rented flat in Bhopal's Kolar locality, with police suspecting suicide due to financial stress. Shubham, originally from Bihar, lived with friends who had gone to Bihar to celebrate Holi, leaving him alone in the flat. He had not been seen since April 3, and when the eatery owner and a social worker checked on him, they found the flat locked and detected a foul smell. The police and landlord were called, and upon entering the flat, they discovered the badly decomposed body with an earbud plugged into his ear. The incident came to light on Saturday, four days after Shubham may have taken his own life.
  14. The Kota student suicides and why we need to stop normalising academic pressure (Academic Pressure) A significant number of Indian parents aspire for their children to become doctors or engineers, with limited awareness of other career options. Despite potential increases in student awareness due to the digital surge during the pandemic, parents may still be largely unaware of diverse career choices. This lack of awareness, combined with academic pressure from families and institutions, shrinking job opportunities, and the highly competitive culture in coaching institutes, is taking a toll on India. India faces a severe issue with youth suicide, with suicide being the leading cause of death among those aged 15 to 30. In 2020, the National Crime Records Bureau reported that one student took their own life every 42 minutes, amounting to 34 student suicides per day, and 11,396 children below 18 years old ended their lives that year. On World Suicide Prevention Day, this issue deserves attention.
  15. 13-year-old student stabs to death his classmate in U.P.'s Kanpur (Homicide)[12]
    A tragic incident occurred at a private school in Bidhnu, where a Class 10 student allegedly stabbed his classmate, Nilendra Tiwari (15), during a lunch break scuffle. The victim was repeatedly stabbed in the neck and nearby areas, leaving him seriously injured. Other students apprehended the accused and informed teachers and the police, leading to the student's detention. Unfortunately, Nilendra Tiwari was declared dead upon arriving at a nearby hospital. The accused claimed that he had been threatened by Tiwari a few days earlier and had carried the knife only as a means of intimidation, with no intention to harm anyone. After interrogation, the accused would be sent to a juvenile home. The victim was the only son of Satendra Tiwari, a resident of Gangapur Colony.
  16. Indian-American student died of alcohol poisoning: report (Intoxication)[13]
    An 18-year-old Indian-American student, Kinara Patel, was found dead in her dormitory room at Villanova University in Philadelphia on August 29. The Delaware County Medical Examiner's office revealed that she died of alcohol poisoning. However, the exact blood alcohol content at the time of her death has not been disclosed. Patel had been out the night before her death, with a friend reportedly present in the room. The university officials and Radnor police have not provided further information about the case, including where Patel had been drinking.

Measures For The Prohibition Of Ragging

  • UGC has established an Anti-Ragging toll-free "helpline" 1800-180-5522
    Twelve languages are available for helping victims of ragging.
    The UGC created an Anti-Ragging Website -
    The Portal records all registered complaints received and the actions taken.
    Videos on Anti-ragging are available on the UGC website.
  • Suicide Prevention / Mental Health Helplines
    ALL-INDIA GOVT MH Rehabilitation HELPLINE 'KIRAN' 24/7 1800-5990019
    VANDREVALA FOUNDATION 24/7 9999 666 555

    iCall: The Tata Institute of Social Sciences School of Human Ecology
    022-25521111 (Mon-Sat: 8 am to 10 pm)
    E: [email protected]
  • Only taking measures,, some acts from our legal system, or just taking care of a victim student's mental health - are these enough to stop ragging?
    Ragging on juniors or classmates is not funny to the victims but to the person who is abusing them. The person who does ragging over others actually enjoys hurting others mentally and physically.

    In my eyes, ragging occurs from a psychological disorder. Psychopaths enjoy committing crimes.
  • What more needed to stop this?
    In my opinion, the institution should filter out the abusers in their institute and arrange counselling with psychologists and related experts. If still they are not changed, the institute should be stricter on these kinds of staff and make everyone aware of the further measures that can be taken if they commit such heinous crimes.
One article says this:
25 students died by suicide in five and half years due to ragging, says UGC.[14]

Our students are our future, and we cannot allow all the wrongs to happen to them in their academic institutions. We should assure our future generation of providing the safest study environment where they can nourish themselves with vast knowledge out of the fear of ragging. Public awareness can help us to create a suitable environment for the future.


Written By: Tarumita Biswas,
B.Sc. LLB (2028)-West Bengal National University Of Juridical Sciences (NUJS)

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