Chennai: Depression seems to the cause of a second year Madras Medical College student M. Arun Selva hanging himself from his hostel room ceiling fan on Sunday night.
This is the second suicide to have occurred, after two weeks of an earlier one. This has led to the Doctors Association for Social Equality (DASE) calling for a probe by the administration.
According to the police, Arun Selva the 20-year-old native of Vandavasi, Tiruvannamalai district, on that fateful night refused to accompany his friends to dinner, saying that he had a phone call to make.
The friends on their return from the dining hall, after dinner, found him hanging from the ceiling of the room. They informed the police immediately. On arriving the police team sent the dead body for an autopsy.
Talking to the TOI, a student revealed that Arun usually kept aloof.”He would rarely talk unless spoken to. This was often mistaken for disinterest. Everyone knew he was a bright student,” informed a third-year student.
The other suicide of 16 years old, P Soujanya, a second-year student, of MMC was a result of depression and pressure, the police quoting her parent revealed. They said the 20-year-old had joined the course despite not being too inclined to it. She had told her parents that the pressure of the course might be difficult to sustain. On October 13, she is believed to have visited a private hospital at Greams Road for depression.
“Soon after her suicide, the MMC management conducted counselling session for students. Since then, Arun Selva had appeared depressed,” said a police officer quoting some of Arun Selva’s friends.
On Monday, Dr G R Ravindranath, DASE General Secretary said the trend was upsetting. “The management should investigate and take necessary steps,” he added.
Speaking of Arun Selva’s death, MMC Dean, Dr Narayana Babu said, police were investigating the cause; ruling out harassment by professors as one of the reasons for his death.
“Some of our students complain about high-stress levels. That is bound to happen in a medical college. We have several programs and facilities on campus to help students cope, including mentorship and counselling,” he added.