‘Personal reasons may have driven Dana to suicide’ (Lead)

May 4th, 2012 - 9:43 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, May 4 (IANS) Denying any evidence of racial bias against MBA student Dana Sangma, officials at the Amity University Friday said personal reasons could have driven the 21-year-old to commit suicide.

“There is a feedback that Dana Sangma was using her phone continuously for a few days, sometimes throughout the night before the incident. She was also seen crying in the hallway,” said Savita Mehta, vice-president (communications), Amity Group.

“There may be some personal reasons that led to big mental pressure on Dana. These reasons may emerge further in the course of the investigation,” Mehta added.

While probe into the case is on, students and friends of Dana alleged she was insulted and abused on racial grounds by an exam invigilator, leading her to commit suicide April 24. However, the varsity denied any evidence of racial discrimination or abuse by the invigilator after an internal inquiry.

Dana was a niece of Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma.

“A five-member team of the university has conducted an internal inquiry. We have questioned a large number of students - including those present in the exam hall, but not a single evidence of racial bias could be found in the inquiry,” Amity Haryana’s deputy vice-chancellor Major General (retd.) B.S. Suhag said.

The committee, headed by pro-vice chancellor Padmakali Banerjee, submitted its report April 30.

“The examination answer book was not torn by the invigilator, nor was an abusive language used by the invigilator. There are a number of witnesses to this,” Suhag added, countering the allegations made by student unions and groups.

According to the university, Dana was found using a mobile phone during the exam. The invigilator on duty then took her to the examination controller. However, contrary to the university’s version, students say Dana was not only accused of cheating but the invigilator threatened ‘to destroy her career’.

“An invigilator saw Dana looking downwards. He saw her doing this repeatedly after which she was found using a mobile phone during the exam,” said Mehta.

“Dana had arrived 10 minutes late for the exam on the day of the incident but she was still allowed to take the exam. She would also have been barred from writing a paper due to slight shortage of attendance. But as per university rules, grace points were provided to her so that she could sit for that exam,” Mehta said.

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