The family of an 18-year-old Dalit student at the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay who reportedly died by suicide earlier this week on Wednesday told NDTV that he had faced discrimination on account of his caste.

The student, Darshan Solanki, reportedly jumped off the seventh floor of a hostel building on Sunday afternoon. The 18-year-old hailed from Ahmedabad and was enrolled as a first-year student in the Bachelors in Technology (Chemical) course at the institution.

His sister Jhanvi Solanki said that when he visited home last month, he told her and his parents that caste discrimination takes place at the institution.

“His friends came to know that he belongs to a Scheduled Caste, so their behaviour towards him changed,” she said. “They stopped talking to him, they stopped hanging out with him.”

Darshan Solanki’s mother Tarlikaben Solanki claimed that he took the extreme step as he was in distress and was “being tortured”, according to NDTV.

The 18-year-old’s father Rameshbhai Solanki said that his son spoke to him in a normal manner just two hours before he was reported to have jumped to his death. “I sent some money to his account,” he said. “He said, ‘I have money, I don’t need money’. He wasn’t spending much, but I still send some money. I had no idea that something like this could happen.”

On Monday, a students’ collective named the Ambedkar Periyar Phule Study Circle had termed Solanki’s death as an institutional murder and said that such suicides should not be seen as isolated instances.

The collective had said that while it was not clear whether Solanki took the extreme step due to caste discrimination, the death was clearly a fallout of an “institutional issue”.

The Ambedkar Periyar Phule Study Circle had said that IITs lack mechanisms to help students from Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes deal with harassment and discrimination on campus.

However, on Tuesday, the IIT-Bombay said that there was no indication that Solanki’s death was linked to caste discrimination.

The institution said that it was wrong to make allegations of caste bias when the police were still investigating the case. “Based on initial inputs from friends, there is no indication that the student faced any such discrimination,” it said, according to PTI.

The institute said that it takes utmost precautions to ensure that the campus is as inclusive as possible and that it does not tolerate discrimination by faculty members. It added that caste identity is not disclosed to anyone, whether students or faculty members, once a student is given admission.

The institute also said that it sensitises students not to ask for proxy information such as ranks in entrance exams.

“IIT Bombay has an SC/ST student cell where students can reach in case of any issues including discrimination,” it said, according to NDTV. It urged students to wait for the police investigation as well as an internal inquiry by the institute to be completed.