HYDERABAD: The student of third year at the Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences (LUMHS) who was found dead in his hostel room four days ago committed suicide with his father’s licensed pistol reportedly because he was under constant pressure to continue pursuing medical studies in which he had no interest, said police on Monday.

The university’s inquiry team, however, noted during preliminary investigations that it was failure of the varsity’s student counselling system to notice the suicide victim Atif Arain’s lack of interest in studies.

Abdul Salam Arain, a family member of the victim, who met Jamshoro police along with other relatives, told Dawn after the meeting that Atif used his father’s pistol to take his life. It appeared the boy had committed suicide, he said.

The victim’s father Shafiq Arain said that he was in Badin. Other family members had met police in Jamshoro and they would share with him details after returning. He had learnt that his son had used his weapon, he said.

Late Atif was studying in LUMHS on self-finance basis but police learnt from his friends that he was not interested in pursuing medical education and was studying only to please his family.

“He wanted to be a cricketer or a chartered accountant,” said Jamshoro SSP Tauqir Naeem.

He said that police learnt after preliminary probe that Atif used to feel lonely.

Atif’s cousin, not brother, had died of cancer and another cousin was fighting cancer.

The deceased’s vital organs had been sent to laboratory for chemical examination to determine possibility of poisoning and its report was being awaited, said MLO Dr Waqar.

Meanwhile, the university’s probe committee visited the deceased’s room in hostel and met his friends. The committee wanted to know how Atif was able to bring the weapon to his room unnoticed by hostel security staff.

They were concerned about the fact that Atif was certainly in need of counselling over his increasing lack of interest in studies. “He was always barely able to get through examination mostly in second attempt during first two years of MBBS,” said a committee member.

He said the student’s academic record remained unimpressive. His friends informed that Atif was not interested in attending classes and used to remain in hostel but his below par academic performance failed to draw much attention, he said.

Published in Dawn, January 22nd, 2019