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Thursday, August 11, 2016

Student’s death sparks protests at IIT Kanpur - The Hindu

NEW DELHI, August 9, 2016


Student’s death sparks protests at IIT Kanpur

Special Arrangement
Students stage a protest following the death of Ph.D. student Alok Kumar Pandey, at the IIT-Kanpur campus on Tuesday.

Students stage a protest following the death of Ph.D. student Alok Kumar Pandey, at the IIT-Kanpur campus on Tuesday.

Protests have erupted at IIT-Kanpur campus following the death of a Ph.D. student on Monday, which the students allege was a result of negligence on the part of the Institute's Health Centre (HC).

Alok Kumar Pandey, 33, a Ph.D. student in the Materials Science Programme, had gone to the HC following a shoulder pain on Monday afternoon. An email sent to students by the president of IIT-Kanpur Students’ Gymkhana, states that Mr. Pandey’s health reportedly started deteriorating within 10 minutes of his visit to the HC. As per the email, a copy of which is with The Hindu, Mr. Pandey’s friend claims that the patient was fine until an injection was administered, which resulted in “massive abnormalities”. Mr. Pandey was later referred to the Cardiology Specialty Institute in Kanpur city, where he was declared “brought dead”.

More than 500 students are protesting on the campus, asking the Institute to accept four demands without any negotiations. 

First, an FIR should be lodged by the Institute demanding an investigation of the matter. Second, immediate suspension or dismissal of the doctor, who diagnosed the patient, until proved innocent. Third, the institute should bear the financial expenditure incurred by Mr. Pandey's family in this case. Fourth, an open and transparent review of the staff, administration and the facilities of the HC be conducted.

Dr. Mamta Vyas, Chief Medical Officer of the Institute’s Health Centre, told IIT-Kanpur’s student newspaper Vox Populi that the Health Centre followed the exact protocol which the situation demanded. While she is extremely saddened by the tragic incident, the allegations levelled against the HC are not appropriate, Vox Populi reported.

This is not the first time when HC has been at the centre of controversy. Last October, Mr. Aftab Alam, Computer Engineer at Institute’s Computer Centre, lost his life at the HC, and a “sudden heart stroke” was mentioned as the reason. However, the relatives of Mr. Alam had alleged that he was merely facing uneasiness in the chest, but his condition deteriorated due to mishandling of the case by an inexperienced young doctor at IIT-Kanpur's HC.


The Institute’s administration has called for an emergency meeting of the Institute Advisory Committee (IAC) to discuss the matter.