Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IIT-B) student Darshan Solanki who allegedly committed suicide had told his mother that caste-based discrimination existed on the institute's campus, a chargesheet filed in the case by police has said.
He also told his mother during telephonic conversations that the behaviour of fellow students changed when they learned about his caste, it claimed.
The statement of Solnaki's mother is part of the chargesheet filed by the city police on Tuesday before a special court for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
The chargesheet named fellow student Arman Khatri who is out on bail after being arrested for allegedly abetting the suicide.
Solanki, a first-year student of B-Tech (Chemical) course who hailed from Ahmedabad, allegedly jumped to death from the seventh floor of a hostel building on the IITB campus in Powai area of Mumbai on February 12, 2023, a day after the semester exams ended.
The police claimed Khatri had allegedly threatened to kill Solanki after the latter spoke 'offensively' about religion.
Solanki's mother in her statement to police said during a telephonic conversation in December 2022, Solanki told his sister that there was caste-based discrimination at the premier institute.
When his friends came to know of his caste, there was a change in their behaviour, Solanki's mother said in the statement.
Solanki again spoke about this to his sister when he visited them in January 2023 during Makar Sankranti holiday, the chargesheet said.
On February 12, he spoke to his mother on phone around 12.20 pm and said he would visit home on February 14 and they should invite all their relatives for a get-together, his mother told the police.
Only two hours later, Solanki's father got a call informing his son had suffered a fall, she said in the statement.
Solanki's sister and aunt too, in their statements, claimed he faced discrimination and observed change in the behaviour of other students when they learnt of his caste.
He spoke about how he was enjoying his studies, but also mentioned that some students and friends always told him that he was getting free education and taunted him, Solanki's aunt told the police.
The chargesheet included statements of 55 witnesses, including some students and professors.