The father of a Dalit student who died by suicide at the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay on Wednesday alleged that the city police were harassing his family and refusing to file a first information report in the case, PTI reported.

Darshan Solanki had jumped off the seventh floor of his hostel building on February 12. The 18-year-old hailed from Ahmedabad and was a first-year student in the Bachelors in Technology (Chemical) course at IIT-Bombay.

His family had claimed that Solanki faced caste discrimination at the institute. However, an inquiry committee set up by IIT-Bombay had dismissed the claims and hinted at “deteriorating academic performance” as the reason for Solanki’s death.

In a letter to Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, the student’s father Rameshbhai Solanki on Wednesday said that his family was “completely shocked and disheartened” by the attitude of the police and the members of a Special Investigation Team. He claimed that they have been refusing to register the FIR for nearly two weeks.

The police and the SIT are also forcing us to write their version of events in the complaint, his father alleged.

“Their demeanor does not inspire any confidence in us and is suspect to say the least,” he added. “We are apprehensive that the SIT is attempting to sideline and divert the investigation from the angle of caste discrimination faced by Darshan.”

The letter, a copy of which was also addressed to Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Mumbai Police Commissioner Vivek Phansalkar, sought an independent investigation and that the FIR be filed on the basis of the initial complaint submitted by Solanki’s family.

“Please act urgently in the matter to ensure justice to our son, who met his untimely death due to caste discrimination faced by him on the IIT Bombay campus, and uphold the truth,” the letter read.

On Monday, the SIT had claimed a suicide note had been found in the room of the Dalit student and that it named one of Solanki’s classmates.

The investigating team has taken Solanki’s answer sheets and some of his old notebooks to authenticate the handwriting in the purported suicide note.

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