JNU student suicide: J Muthukrishnan actively participated in Rohith Vemula protests; all you need to know

J Muthukrishnan, 27, a Dalit MPhil student at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), allegedly committed suicide due to depression on Monday evening. The body of the deceased student, known also as Rajini Krish, was found hanging from the ceiling of his room in South Delhi's Munirka area.

A PCR call was received at 5.05 pm on Monday that a person had locked himself in a room at a house in Munirka Vihar, said a senior police officer. On reaching the spot, the police forced open the door as a portion of the latch was uprooted from inside, he said. A young man was found hanging from the ceiling fan. An investigative team was called at the spot and the scene was inspected and photographed.

The MPhil student is said to have gone to have food at his friend's house and then he locked himself inside his room. The police said that they are trying to find a reason as to why Muthukrishnan took such an extreme step.

Umar Khalid, a PhD student at JNU who is part of the Bhagat Singh-Ambedkar Students Association, wrote on his Facebook wall, “Our universities are being turned into graveyards for the oppressed.” He alleged that Krish, Dalit research scholar and Ambedkarite activist, was forced to end his life.

Saket Bahuguna, the national media convener for Akhil Bhartiya Vidya Parishad, also paid regards to the JNU student on Monday.

Krishnan, who was from Tamil Nadu's Salem district, had completed his MPhil from University of Hyderabad (UoH) in 2015 and was currently an MPhil student at the Centre for Historical studies at JNU.

“It was his big dream…(to enroll) in JNU,’’ said Krishnan’s friend, Munna Sunnaki told The Indian Express. “…when he got admission to do PhD at JNU, he was ecstatic. He was so thrilled that he ran around the New Research Scholar hostel.’’ Sunnaki said that it is very shocking and unsettling that a person, who worked hard for five years to get into JNU, has committed suicide within a year of realising his dream.

Another friend told The Indian Express that Krishnan, who was who was nicknamed Rajini as after actor Rajinikanth, struggled a lot to get into JNU. He said, "His English was poor, which was one reason why he could not get into JNU earlier. He was so committed and hardworking that he worked on his English for nearly a year, spending hours together in the UoH library."

File photo of Rajini Krish. Image courtesy: Facebook/Rajini Krish

File photo of Rajini Krish. Image courtesy: Facebook/Rajini Krish

Krish's death comes 14 months after Rohith Vemula's suicide that had kicked up a huge uproar across the country, with many Dalit organisations and opposition parties holding protests seeking 'justice' for the deceased.

He was a part of the Dalit movement in the University of Hyderabad against the suspension of Rohith Vemula following a fight with activists of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad. The ABVP had accused Rohith and other Dalit students of being “anti-national” for objecting to the imposition of the death penalty on Yakub Memon.

Krishnan who was heartbroken when Vemula committed suicide, had written several Facebook posts on Vemula and was present at all protest meetings held in Vemula’s memory. JNU Students Union president Mohit Pandey said Krishnan was very active in the protests, The Indian Express reported. Krishnan participated in JNU administration block blockade that the Committee of Suspended Students for Social Justice had called.

He had been quite vocal about Vemula's death and had also written a moving blog post about his meeting with Rohith Vemula’s mother, Radhikamma.

Krish wrote, “Dear anti-nationals, let me tell you, one day this nation’s leader is going to sell all. Just for a selfie and for a standing ovation from the outsiders. Hundreds and hundreds of Appa Raos are going to kill thousands of Rohiths and they are going to say, 'He/She was a gifted student'.  All the intellectuals from the marginalised communities will get arrested just for mocking fictional characters....At the same time, all the leading national institutes will be headed by people who cannot even clear the 10th standard exam. These people claim dissenters are anti-nationals and seditious...They are going to kill many Rohiths, like us, just for eating beef, for being rational, for being intellectually productive for the country. But we are the real sons of this land and after we are all killed, there will be no nation.’’

In the post, Krish encourages every student from all over the world to become Rohith by supporting this anti-caste movement.

"We are deeply saddened as one of our fellow students has committed suicide at his friend's residence in Munirka Vihar just outside JNU campus. It's an irreparable loss. May the departed soul rest in peace," ABVP leader Saurabh Sharma said in a statement.

"When equality is denied everything is denied. There is no Equality in MPhil or PhD admission, there is no equality in viva voce, there is only denial of equality. Denying Professor Sukhadeo Thorat recommendation, denying students protest in ad-block, denying the education of the marginals," said Rajini's last Facebook post.

"This was Krish last post before committing suicide. Yet another Dalit PhD scholar's life is lost," said JNU student Ashish Pandey.

Students expressed shock and grief over his suicide. "Heartbreaking news! RIP Muthukrishnan. I don't know why do you end your life journey in the middle. You have overcome several obstacles to acquire higher education. I never expect this from you," shared Vincent Benny, former UoH students' union president on Facebook.

Shame on Sangh-appointed VCs, Appa Rao an Jagadeesh Kumar, robbing universities of their bright students, robbing students of their dreams...JNU administration didn't inform Muthu Krishnan's family and JNU registrar refused to come to the hospital even after students asked him to come," Sheila Rashid, former vice-president of the JNU Student Union wrote on Twitter.

JNU has not issued any official statement yet.

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Updated Date: Mar 14, 2017 13:55:44 IST

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