A graduation student, Anju Shaji's body was recovered from Meenachil river in Kottayam on Monday, two days after she left the exam hall and was reported missing.

Kerala college students body found in river kin wants probe against collegeLeft - Anju Shaji/ Right - CCTV footage still of exam hall
news Death Tuesday, June 09, 2020 - 08:15

A 20-year-old student’s body was found in a river in Kerala’s Kottayam district, two days after she went missing. Anju Shaji, a graduation student, had written her exams on Saturday. At the examination hall, the invigilator accused her of cheating and she went missing following the commotion.

Anju was a student at Kanjirappally St Antony's college and she appeared for her final year Bachelor of Commerce (BCom) exams at another college, BVM Holy Cross College Cherpunkal, Pala.  

Anju's body was recovered from Meenachil river in Kottayam on Monday, two days after she went missing.

According to some of the students in the exam hall, she left the room sometime after the invigilator and principal took away her answer sheets and said she will not be able to take the exam. Since she did not reach home by evening, her parents filed a missing person complaint at the Kanjirappally police station.

The police recovered her phone and bag from Cherpunkal Bridge, based on which they assumed that she would have jumped into the river.

"The invigilator alleged that she had written something on the hall ticket. When the principal entered the room, the invigilator complained to him. Then the father (principal) and the invigilator scolded her. They also told her that she will not be allowed to take the exam. They took away all her answer sheets. Later, Anju also left the room. She looked very sad," Jishnu, a student at the exam hall, told the media.

Anju’s parents told the media that she would not cheat in the exams and the college principal is responsible for her death.

"We saw the priest (principal) snatching her papers on the CCTV footage, the police showed us. We could not take videos as the police did not allow. That priest was harassing her. The college principal killed my daughter," Anju's father Shaji told the media.

On Monday, after the student’s body was found, the BVM college authorities said in a press meet that Anju had written notes behind her hall ticket. They also showed her hall ticket to the media.

"The exams started at 1.30 pm. Around 1.50, the invigilator checked the hall tickets and it was found that Anju had written notes behind her hall ticket. The principal came and told her that she will not be allowed to write the exam and asked to meet him after 2.30 pm, as according to rules, once exams start, no student can exit the hall for an hour,” one of the college authorities said.

He also added that when Anju left the hall at 2.30 pm, the invigilator thought she was going to meet the principal. "If she had met the principal, we would have taken down her parents’ number and contacted them. Since she was not our college student, we did not have any contact details," he added. The authorities also claimed that they behaved politely with the student and did not harass her.

In the press meet, college authorities also showed the CCTV visuals from the hall, where the invigilator and Father Joseph Njarakattil, who is the principal of the college, could be seen speaking to the student.

Meanwhile, the state Women's Commission has taken a suo motu case in the incident.

If you are aware of anyone facing mental health issues or feeling suicidal, please provide help. Here are some helpline numbers.

Tamil Nadu:
State health department suicide helpline number - 104
Sneha Suicide Prevention Centre - 044-24640050 (listed as the sole suicide prevention helpline in TN

Andhra Pradesh:
Life Suicide Prevention Helpline No.78930-78930
Roshni Helpline 1: 9166202000 Helpline 2: 9127848584

Karnataka:
Sahai: 24-hour helpline numbers: 080- 65000111, 080-65000222

Kerala:
Maithri helpline - 0484-2540530
Chaithram helpline: 0484-2361161
Both are 24-hour helpline numbers.

Telangana:
Telangana government suicide prevention toll-free no: 104
Roshni- 040-66202000, 6620200SEVA- 09441778290, 040 - 27504682 (between 9 AM and 7 PM)

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