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IIT’s Unusual Stand: Refusing Support in Faizan Ahmed Murder Investigation

When the Faizan Ahmed murder case hearing began after a two months gap, the State did not appear, and opposition of IIT continued

Kolkata: It should be disposed off, my lord,” interrupted Anindya Mitra, representing the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, in the murder case of Faizan Ahmed, a third-year Mechanical engineering student at IIT KGP. Judge Joy Sengupta, who was hearing arguments from Faizan Ahmed’s lawyer, Ranajit Chatterjee, despite the repeated interruptions, posed a question to senior counsel Mitra, “Without the SIT (Special Investigation Team) report?” There was silence for a few moments in the courtroom. “I will review the progress report and then decide,” said Justice Sengupta.

Two months later, the hearing in the IITian Faizan Ahmed murder case began before a new judge at the Calcutta High Court, in the courtroom of Justice Jay Sengupta. However, it started from the same point where it had ended at the division bench with Chief Justice TS and Justice. The IIT lawyers sought to quash the case.

On October 11, 2022, the partially decomposed body of 23-year-old Faizan Ahmed was recovered from his hostel on the IIT campus in Kharagpur. Shortly afterward, both Kharagpur Police and IIT authorities claimed that Faizan had committed suicide. However, after nearly a year of legal battles and hearings at the high court, which included a second post-mortem after exhuming Faizan’s body, two courts, first a single judge, and later a division bench, ruled that it was a homicide and ordered an investigation by the SIT led by IPS officer K Jayaraman. They also directed the police to include Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code in the FIR.

After the division bench upheld Justice Rajasekhar Mantha’s single bench decision, it was expected that both the IIT and the state would change their stance and support the victim’s family.

Ironically, unlike other cases that occurred within campus boundaries, IIT authorities never cooperated with the family and opposed the proceedings at every level.

Today, Anindya Mitra, the IIT counsel, reiterated that there isn’t much to the case and that it should be disposed off. The SIT has yet to file a progress report on one of the most brutal murder cases involving a student studying at one of India’s premier institutes.

During the hearing, at one point, Faizan’s counsel, Ranajit Chatterjee, had to ask the court, “What is the problem for IIT if the case remains pending?”

“The court also stated that it will first ensure that the victim’s side receives their rights, and then they will consider what should happen to the case,” Aniruddha Mitra, another lawyer for Faizan, told eNewsroom.

Faizan’s mother, Rehana Ahmed, has also expressed shock and concern as to why IIT is not supporting her in seeking justice but opposing it with all its might.

She wondered, “Who does IIT wants to protect?”

Notably, as on the last date, October 9, no one from the state was present.

The court scheduled Tuesday, October 17, as the next hearing date.

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