A 20-year-old engineering student from Vellore, Ramesh Kannan, has died under mysterious circumstances at the Isha Yoga centre near Coimbatore.
The third-year civil engineering student, along with 35 other classmates from the Gandhipathy Tulsi Jain Engineering College, was reportedly taking a dip at the 'Surya Kundam' in the centre when his health suddenly deteriorated. Following this, he was immediately taken to a private hospital. Doctors claimed that he was brought dead.
Police officials investigating the case told The News Minute that the boy had previous illness. "The boy had a history of epilepsy. The water was only 4 feet deep. It could be that the sudden exposure to cold water triggered an epileptic attack,” a police official said.
When students from the college demanded answers from the Isha Yoga Centre, they reportedly said that they had already placed boards warning visitors who suffer from any heart condition or epilepsy against stepping into the water.
"There is a certain measure of negligence from the students as well. Authorities have taken measures such as the board to warn them but it was not heeded to," said Coimbatore SP Ramya Bharathi.
A member of the Isha PR team told The News Minute that all requisite steps had been taken by the centre’s management. "We have boards warning people suffering from health conditions against entering the tank. In addition to this, because it was a big group, we even played a video on the health benefits associated to the Surya Kundam and asked those with health issues to consult us," said the member. The centre further claims to have rushed Ramesh to the hospital in an ambulance with medical experts.
Panneerselvam, the chief of the Social Justice party, says this could have been mercury poisoning, "The Surya Kundam, where men take bath, has a lingam made of mercury in the middle of it. There is another Chandrakundam, in which women are allowed to bathe in. We have demanded that a probe be instituted into the student's death and the ill-effects of the mercury that exits in the Surya Kundam. "
Isha however dismissed the allegations, terming it a conspiracy against the organisation. "The facility has existed for 5 years and nobody has faced any health issues after spending time in the water. The mercury is a crucial part of our 'vaidya' and has several health benefits," said the source in Isha.
The police are, however, open to any complaints regarding the facility. "This is the first time something like this has happened. We are open to any complaints but so far the parents of the boy have made no allegations against the Centre," said SP Ramya Bharati.
Ramesh’s body has currently been taken to the Coimbatore Medical College and Hospital for an autopsy.