He was bright, even named his future company: Jishnu’s parents bare their heart

Who will console this mother who lost her son to a Kerala pvt college’s ‘disciplinary’ measures?
 He was bright, even named his future company: Jishnu’s parents bare their heart
He was bright, even named his future company: Jishnu’s parents bare their heart
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“If only I had known, I would have saved Jishnu,” says Mahija softly. Dry-eyed, she speaks about her only son Jishnu who took his own life on Friday, after being accused of cheating in a college semester examination.

It’s as if she has used up all her tears grieving for her beloved child in the past five days. Now all that is left is simmering anger….anger that is directed at the college management who ‘murdered’ her son.

18-year old Jishnu Pranoy, a first-year computer science student at Nehru College of Engineering and Research in Thrissur, hung himself in the college hostel, following reported harassment by the college authorities.

At their Nadapuram home in Kozhikode, Ashokan -Jishnu's father- now spends the day sitting on the porch, staring at the spot where his son was laid to rest. Mahija has not left her room ever since. His younger sister struggles to focus on her class 10 Board exams due in March.

"I don't feel like eating. Why should I? My son is gone….I will never get him back…. I eat only to be able to tell people that the college killed my son. He would never kill himself. They harassed him both mentally and physically that he was forced to do this," she asserts to The News Minute.

There is palpable anger among family members, friends and relatives who reiterate that the injury marks seen on Jishnu's body could only indicate ‘murder’. Following Jishnu's death, many fellow-students have spoken out against the stringent rules and regulations that are often -they say- forcibly enforced by the management.

Jishnu's father Ashokan

Even as the case is being investigated by the Thrissur Crime Branch, Ashokan fears that this would be yet another short-lived controversy in public memory. None who knew Jishnu believe he would ever cheat in an exam, as he was academically a bright student.

"There was absolutely no need for him to copy. He had scored over 80% in the school Board exams. He really wanted to do this course. He was not someone who believed in whiling away his time at college. Though his friends and classmates are scared to say it in public, they have in private told us that Jishnu was wrongly accused of copying, and that the management had done it deliberately," insists Ashokan. 

Mahija had even spoken to Jishnu over phone on Friday morning, just hours before he was to appear for the exam. Jishnu used to call home at least twice a day.

"He said he had prepared well, and that he will call me after the exam to tell me how it went. But after 5pm every time I tried to call him, I kept getting the message that his mobile was unreachable. It did not actually worry me then, as he used to give his mobile to the hostel warden to avoid distractions while studying,” she recalls.

Around 6.30 in the evening, just when she was getting slightly uneasy about not hearing from Jishnu till then, Mahija got a call from the hostel warden. She was almost relieved to see the warden’s number. 

"Assuming Jishnu was at the other end, I began to speak. That is when the warden told me Jishnu had committed suicide,” she whispers.

What makes it worse for the bereaved family is Praveen’s -the invigilator- refusal to rush Jishnu to the hospital in his car. Praveen was the one who had also accused Jishnu of copying. 

"There was a delay of half an hour. His friends told us that he was still alive at the time. But the faculty refused to help. It was another student who took him in his vehicle,” rages Sreejith, a relative.

All the family now wants is that the perpetrators be brought to book for this heinous crime. They have filed a complaint with state Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan demanding a quick and fair probe into the matter.

"When we got Jishnu enrolled, we never knew about the harassment meted out to students there. He too never spoke about it. Only after Jishnu's death did other students muster up courage to speak the truth. This system has to change," avers Ashokan. 

Mahija goes on to talk about how ambitious Jishnu was for his age: 

"He had even decided on the name of the company he would start in the future. He used to study late into the night. Now they accuse him of having copied in an exam. Monu (Jishnu’s pet name) would never share anything which he felt may hurt me. Not once did he hint about what was actually happening at college. If only he had told me, I would have saved him.”

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