The atmosphere at the Amrita School of Engineering in Bengaluru’s Kasavanahalli near Bellandur was threatening on Monday afternoon, 21 October, following the death of Harsha, a fourth year engineering student.
Angry students assembled in protest, alleging that Harsha had killed himself on campus due to harassment by college authorities, and demanding justice for their friend.
As students sat and stood around campus to register their protest, there was a large number of police personnel present as well, even though the situation remained largely peaceful.
The college is one of the many institutions run by Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham under Kerala-based spiritual leader Amritanandamayi. The one in Bengaluru has 2,000-plus students, primarily in BTech, and around 200 from MTech and MBA courses.
They claimed that the college’s disciplinary action committee wanted Harsha to confess his involvement in an incident of destroying college property that took place in the college around the end of last month.
This, despite another student who had come forward to confess apparently telling the committee that Harsha was in no way involved.
The students said that so far, the college authorities had already rusticated 15 students across batches and another 45 were suspended for the same act.
The incident included breaking of windscreens and windows of six college-owned buses. A group of students had allegedly carried out the act after repeated complaints about the lack of decent food and sufficient water at the hostel went unacknowledged.
According to multiple students reviews, Harsha had a reputation of being a harmless, shy person and was a good student.