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Sunday, December 6, 2015

Kota suicide rerun - Telegraph India

Our Correspondent
Jaipur, Dec. 3: 

A student from Punjab was found hanging in Kota today, taking to a dozen the number of suicides in the medical and IIT coaching hub so far this year.

Police said they had found a handwritten note in Varun Punjabi's hostel room saying nobody was responsible for his suicide and that his parents should pardon him for the extreme step.

The police suspected stress - the reason cited in most other cases - as the cause but the director of the institute where Varun had been preparing for medical entrance exams said the 18-year-old from Ludhiana had attended barely 10 days of classes since taking admission this August.

"His friends say he had been quiet for the past few days. His parents are on the way. It could be because of stress too. But it is difficult now to ascertain the exact cause," said Kota police chief Sawai Singh Godara.

Naveen Maheshwari, the director of Allen Career Institute where Varun was enrolled, said: "Varun was a dropper, which means he had cleared his Class XII last year. We have been sending an absentee notice to his parents regularly. The case may be not because of academic stress. It may be due to family problems. We have regular counselling for those who need it."

Asked about the increasing suicides in the coaching hub, Maheshwari said Kota was "singled out because of the sheer numbers". "Students around the nation are under pressure, though coping alone in a city (Kota) for the first time also unnerves students."#

Counsellors believe that stress is inevitable in Kota, with its 14-hour daily grinds and pressure from the annual fees of Rs 70,000 to Rs 1.5 lakh the students' parents have to shell out. The police reported 14 suicides in 2014 and 26 in 2013