By Pallavi Singhal
Shock and disbelief gripped Panjab University as Ishaan Sharma, 24, a founding member of Student Federation of Panjab University (SFPU) who joined the Student Organisation of India (SOI) recently, died in a freak accident on Saturday night.
The incident happened late night on Saturday, near Boys Hostel No. 8, on Sector 25 campus of the university. An eyewitness said Ishaan lost his balance and fell, hitting the edge of a pavement after which he was rushed to GMSH Hospital in Sector 16 by his friends and was declared brought dead by the hospital authorities. His friends then informed his mother, who is still in a state of shock. Although the Sector 11 police station has initiated a probe into the incident, officials are ruling out foul play.
SHO Rajeev Kumar said, “The eyewitness accounts have made it clear that there is no conspiracy angle in this. He was drunk, lost his balance and fell. I also inspected the body before handing it over to the hospital and found no marks or injuries anywhere except on his head. We will only be able to say more once the post-mortem report is in.”
Ishaan was drinking with his friends in the Boys’ Hostel No. 8 on Saturday. He then went out of the hostel and was toying with an ABVP banner when his hand got caught in a tear. He pulled hard to free his hand and fell back, his head hitting the footpath. He was rushed to the hospital by his friends in an SOI car after their efforts failed to revive him, said an eyewitness. He was declared brought dead at the hospital.
A student of BDS at Panjab University, Ishaan hailed from Shimla and had been living in the city for the last five years. He was living in a flat in Sector 38 with a roommate, who is a student of SD college. This was his final year and he had asked for an extension for his internship period, said Jagat Bhushan, principal, BDS Department, PU. Other than his studies, he had a keen interest in fashion and had also been a judge of various fashion shows at the university as well as outside.
Ishaan is survived by his mother, a teacher at a government school in Shimla, and two younger siblings, one in college and the other in school.
His professors expressed dismay at the incident. Bhushan said, “This is a very unfortunate incident. Ishaan was an all-rounder. He used to take part in all extra-curricular activities with a lot of vigour, which was welcomed by all teachers and colleagues. He was a multi-talented boy and even teachers would take his help from time to time. All our prayers and sympathies lie with the family.”
Another professor, Ashish Jain, who had worked closely with Ishaan on a number of conferences, said, “He was a wonderful student, very respectful, a rare breed to come by these days. We worked together, all for one reason, he was super talented and would volunteer to take part in everything and would often excel at it too. When my wife told me about the incident, I could not fathom what had happened. I think I still haven’t.”
Another professor of the university expressed disappointment at the indiscriminate consumption of liquor by youngsters. ‘’Such young deaths compel you to think if the price of life is worth a bottle of liquor.”
Ishaan’s close friend, his junior at the BDS Department, who was one of the people who took Ishaan to the hospital, teared up while talking about him, “Bhaiya was a very nice person. He used to love me and treat me like a little brother. It wasn’t just me, he was good to everybody in general. He was one of those people who spread happiness wherever they went.”
More than 25 people gathered at the hospital once the news broke.
When contacted, the DUI, Shankarji Jha, said he was not aware of the incident.