Unsolved Mystery: The Tragic Murder of IIT KGP’s Faizan Ahmed

The homicide case of IIT Kharagpur student Faizan Ahmed raises questions about its campus safety and accountability. Faizan's mother, who is fighting for justice and removed the charge of suicide on her son, is shocked at the non-cooperation of IIT authorities

Kolkata: Securing the 11th rank in the Joint Entrance Exam (JEE) remains a dream for many aspirants. And then becoming a member of two national level Robotics research teams in Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur. A guy who was getting a scholarship from the Assam government because he had excellent study records.

During his IIT days he used to teach mathematics online. He was also receiving payment in dollars.

The above story is one of India’s brilliant minds– Faizan Ahmed. A resident of Tinsukia, Faizan was a third year mechanical engineering student of IIT Kharagpur.

He was the only child of his parents– Rehana and Salim Ahmed.

Exactly one year ago, on October 11, 2022, the 23-year-old was brutally murdered and three days later his partially decomposed dead body recovered from his hostel room in IIT Kharagpur.

From suicide to homicide

When the dead body was found, both Kharagpur Police and IIT authorities claimed that Faizan committed suicide due to depression. However, the family did not accept it. The parents moved to Calcutta High Court. In the first postmortem report, the cause of death was mentioned that Faizan had cut veins of his left hand and as a result of which he died. But it could not satisfy the court of Justice Rajasekhar Mantha. Who appointed a forensic expert Dr Ajoy Gupta to ascertain the cause of death. The forensic expert after going through the video clips of the first autopsy pointed out that there are signs of hematoma in the body of Faizan so he requested a second autopsy from Calcutta High Court. Dr Gupta also asked the court to get the fresh autopsy done in Calcutta Medical College, which the court granted. First one was performed at Medinipur Medical College.

After getting exhumed, Faizan’s body was brought from Dibrugarh. In the second postmortem, first time doctor and mother of Faizan were also present along with Dr Gupta. The report of a fresh postmortem made it clear that Faizan’s death was ‘homicide’ in nature. After going through reports, Justice Mantha constituted a Special Investigation (SIT) led by senior IPS officer K Jayaraman.

Significantly, IIT Kharagpur and Bengal police moved to the division bench of Chief Justice TS Sivagnanam and Justice Hiranmai Bhattacharyya. While IIT Kharagpur wanted to quash the case citing Justice Mantha did one sided hearing and Bengal police did not want SIT but Kharagpur police to investigate. However, Chief Justice Sivagnanam and Justice Bhattacharya upheld the decision of Justice Mantha.

Not much coverage in media, no support from state and IIT either

Unlike any other case of ragging and murder on campuses, Faizan’s case doesn’t receive the attention of the media nor the support of civil society. Ironically, state government and IIT authorities too did not help the family in the case, in fact both stand against the family in their quest for justice. During the hearing in the division bench, Chief Justice Sivagnanam and Justice Bhattacharya mentioned in their order that, state was more concerned that SIT should not investigate the case, than the findings of the second postmortem.

“I wrote to chief minister Mamata Banerjee and made several appeals to her through the media, and wrote to the chairman of West Bengal Minority Commission as well, but did not hear a word from them, ” rued Rehana, the grieving mother.

She further told eNewsroom, “One year back, when my son’s dead body was found, it was in my mind that I will get support from IIT Kharagpur authorities, but today, they way IIT authorities stand on my way to justice, it hounds me regularly, to whom they are saving?”

Fate of Faizan’s case

It also requires the attention of the common man, who should also become the voice of the family seeking justice.

“The murder of Faizan is not only a loss for us, but the country too. He was a genius as well as a very good human being. He was an asset for society and country,” said Salim Ahmed, the father.

Faizan’s lawyer Ranajit Chatterjee told eNewsroom, “After long battle, we got an SIT, but we do not know what progress it is making in the case. Today (October 9), there was also a hearing, but the state did not appear.”

No hearing of the case has taken place since August 16, when the Division Bench of Chief Justice Sivagnanam and Justice Bhattacharyya reiterated that Faizan’s death is homicide in nature and SIT will continue the investigation.

Shahnawaz Akhtar

is Founder of eNewsroom. He loves doing human interest, political and environment related stories.

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