Kota twin tragedy: Student suicide, children electrocuted in Shivratri procession

A teenager died and 14 children were injured, two of them critically, in two separate incidents in Kota, Rajasthan

Representative image (photo: IANS)
Representative image (photo: IANS)

NH Digital

A teenager died and 14 children were injured, two of them critically, in two separate incidents in Kota, Rajasthan on Friday.

"I can't clear JEE. Sorry, I quit." These were the last words of a 16-year-old student to his father before he killed himself by allegedly taking poison at a hostel in the city, the police said.

In the second incident, 14 children aged 10-16 participating in a Shiv barat (wedding procession) on the occasion of Mahashivratri sustained burn injuries late on Friday morning after they were electrocuted by a high-tension power line passing overhead in Kota's Sakatoura area under Kunhari police station. Two of the children sustained 100 and 50 per cent burn injuries, while the rest sustained less than 50 per cent injuries, a senior police official said. All the injured were rushed to the MBS hospital in Kota.

The mishap occurred close to noon on Friday as the procession was marching through Kalibasti, where one of the boys in the procession, holding a flag atop a 22-foot iron rod, touched the high-tension line overhead, Kota city SP Amrita Duhan told PTI.

The boy sustained 100 per cent burn injuries, while other boys who attempted to rescue him also sustained burns, she said, adding that one of the boys sustained 50 per cent injuries while the other 12 boys sustained less than 50 per cent injuries.

Earlier in the morning, the body of Abhishek Mandal, a resident of Bhagalpur in Bihar, was found in a paying guest accommodation in the city's Vigyan Nagar area. It is suspected that he died late on Thursday night, circle officer DSP Dharmveer Singh said.

The police team also found a suicide note addressed to his father, in which the boy expressed his inability to crack the JEE (joint entrance examination), he said. Thousands of students come to Kota — famed as a coaching hub and sometimes mockingly called 'Kota factory' — every year to prepare for the JEE and other competitive exams. The extreme pressure to clear these exams has often been cited as a reason for the high number of student suicides in Kota.

"Papa, mere se JEE nahi ho payega (the JEE is beyond me). Sorry, I quit," said the purported suicide note recovered from his room, the officer said. The matter came to light after his parents raised an alarm as he was not responding to repeated phone calls, and asked the paying guest caretaker to check on their son, the CO said.

On Friday morning, when the caretaker peered through the window of the youth's room, he found him lying unconscious, he said. Abhishek was then rushed to a hospital, where he was declared brought dead, he added. A vial of a poisonous substance was recovered from his room by the police team, the CO said.

According to records from the coaching institute Mandal had been studying in for a year, he was supposed to take the JEE session 1 exam on 29 January but did not appear for it, the DSP said. The police have placed the body in a mortuary and a post-mortem will be conducted once his parents arrive from Bihar, he said.

This is the fifth case of suicide by a coaching student in Kota since January this year. The number of student suicides in Kota stood at 26 in 2023.

With inputs from PTI

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