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Varsity administration decided to shut campus till January after students staged violent protests following suicide of a girl who was caught cheating in exams

A day after violence broke out on the campus of Sathyabama University on the outskirts of Chennai following a first-year girl student’s suicide, the varsity’s administration decided to shut the campus down until early-January and asked the students to vacate the hostels on Thursday.

Sathyabama University had witnessed violence and arson on Wednesday night with students torching furniture in the hostel buildings after report of the girl student having committed suicide by hanging herself in her hostel room became public.

The girl student, 19-year-old Duvru Raja Monica, had committed suicide after she was reportedly hauled up by an invigilator who caught her cheating in an examination. The invigilator had allegedly scolded the girl sternly in front of other students and then asked her to leave the examination hall.

According to a report in the Hindu, Monica – a resident of Hyderabad – returned to her hostel room and then sent her brother, who studies in the same university, a text message saying ‘goodbye’. Monica’s brother – who was at the time appearing for an examination – saw the text message around 11.30 am and then rushed to her hostel as he couldn’t reach her on the phone. “With the help of the watchman, he found her room and entered it only to find her hanging,” the Hindu report said, quoting university officials.

While the varsity asserted that the invigilator had only followed the “regular procedure” by asking Monica to leave the examination hall after she was caught “indulging in malpractice”, students of the university went on a rampage at around 7.30 pm on Wednesday.

According to media reports, the university administration had called in the police after the violence escalated. The police personnel tried to pacify the protesting students – rumoured to number over 300 – and sent them back to the hostel while additional armed police was deployed in and around the campus to prevent the protests from reigniting.

On Thursday morning, the university administration decided to declare holidays till January 3 and shut down the campus; asking hostel inmates to vacate their rooms immediately.

Meanwhile, Monica’s father Raja Reddy, who works as a general manager in a private company in Hyderabad, has lodged a complaint with the Semmencheri police station under section 174 (unnatural death) of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

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