Kerala student suicide over exam malpractice: MG University finds fault with college

The university observed that if the college staff had been careful the student’s life could have been saved.
Anju Shaji death
Anju Shaji death
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Representatives of the Mahatma Gandhi University who visited BVM Holy Cross College, Cherpunkal, Pala have observed that there were flaws in how the college authorities handled the exam cheating case, after which a 20-year-old student, Anju Shaji, died by suicide.

“After the authorities found the student cheating in the exam, they should have immediately taken her to the principal’s room. Sitting in the hall for half-an-hour could have put the student under a lot of pressure,” Sabu Thomas, Vice Chancellor of MG University, told the media. “The college authorities didn’t show enough seriousness in the issue,” he added.

He said that the university would submit a detailed report within a week.

Anju, a final year BCom student from St Antony’s College, Kanjirappaly, appeared for her exams at BVM College. Last Saturday, she was allegedly found cheating in the exam by the authorities and the college principal asked her to meet him at his office 30 minutes later. He also took away her papers. She left the exam hall around 2.30 pm and went missing. Later, the police found her bag and phone at a bridge nearby while her body was found on Monday in Meenachil river.

“It is an unfortunate incident. We will form plans to provide proper counselling to students. Similar incidents should not repeat,” the VC added.

He also said that the principal of BVM College would be removed from exam duty.

“We might bring changes such as conducting exams without hall ticket,” he said.

Aji C Panicker, a university syndicate member who was part of the enquiry team, also said that there were some mistakes on the part of the college authorities.

“If the student was found cheating, the invigilator and the exam superintendent should have immediately shifted her to the superintendent’s room where an explanation should have been taken from her. But they didn’t do that,” she said.

Aji added that immediately after noticing the malpractice, the authorities should have collected the address and phone number of the student so that they could have traced her after she left the exam hall.

“When she left the hall, nobody followed her or confirmed if she met the principal. If somebody had checked this, we could have saved her,” she pointed out.

Aji also said that the mistakes on the part of the college staff were not intentional but were committed due of carelessness.

She said that the university would also collect the statements of the students who were sitting near Anju, after their exams are over.

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


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


Maithri helpline - 0484-2540530

Chaithram helpline: 0484-2361161

Both are 24-hour helpline numbers.


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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