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Probe finds LUMHS student’s death ‘suicide’

Updated February 16, 2019

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A six-member inquiry committee formed to probe the death of a third-year medical student has concluded he might have committed suicide over ailment of his cousin and mother.  — File
A six-member inquiry committee formed to probe the death of a third-year medical student has concluded he might have committed suicide over ailment of his cousin and mother. — File

HYDERABAD: A six-member inquiry committee formed to probe the death of a third-year medical student has concluded he might have committed suicide over ailment of his cousin and mother.

It has recommended the appointment of a psychologist to provide support/guidance to students with poor academic record in the future. It observed “security system” was not up to the mark at the hostel.

Findings of the committee into the death of Atif Arain, a student of Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences (LUMHS) Jamshoro, have been submitted to university’s Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Bikha Ram who had constituted the committee following the incident.

The committee headed by Prof Dr Feroze Kalhoro as chairman has recommended that “every student must know about counselling services” and students’ academic performance report should be prepared biannually to be shared with students and their parents. The performance report must contain information about attendance and extracurricular activities.

It said that “students with poor academic performance should be given counselling to help them solve their study related problems”. It added that teachers/management-parents meetings should also be organised in special cases.

The committee recommended that extracurricular activities should be increased for students and a convention hall should be established for this purpose.

“There should be separate common halls for girls and boys,” it said, adding that a tuck shop should be set up in the boys’ hostel. It also suggested that entry and exist points of the boys’ hostel should be monitored like the girls’ hostel.

The committee has concluded that “he [Atif Arain] might have committed suicide [due to] ‘pressure of studies’. Atif was struggling to cope with his study problem, but failed again and again and finally gave in”. The committee cited “pressure from the family due to repeated failures in examination as it was their ambition to see him [as a] doctor, although he was seemingly not interested to pursue this education as his career”. It added that “ailment of his cousin and mother or any other personal issue could be the cause of the suicide”.

The committee members concluded that the CCTV cameras should be installed at different points especially at the main gate of the hostels, and walkthrough gates and metal detectors be made available. They said biometric machine should also be installed.

Published in Dawn, February 16th, 2019