Police lathicharge students protesting against the poor pass percentage of Class XII examination in Patna Wednesday. Image Credit: PTI

Patna: Poor exam results have spurred a chain of suicides in Bihar with three girls ending their lives out of frustration, one attempting suicide and another girl dying of heart attack over the past 24 hours, sending alarm bells ringing. Around 70 per cent of students have failed to clear the Grade 12 examination this year owing to what authorities say “strict measures adopted by the education department to conduct free and fair examination”.

The first incident was reported from central Bihar Bhojpur district where a girl identified as Kiran Kumari, 20, committed suicide by jumping before a running train. Her body was recovered from the railway track on Wednesday morning. The girl took this extreme step shortly after being wrongly informed by her friend that she had failed the exam. However, an inquiry by the authorities found she had passed the exam in third division.

Police said the victim talked to her father before committing the crime and said she was ending her life. Reports said she refused to relent despite being told by her father she had indeed passed the exam unlike others.

“Her father pleaded with the girl not to end her life as she had passed the exam but she refused to heed to his advice. Apparently, she thought her father was telling a lie to keep her in good humour,” a local police official Ali Akbar Khan told the media today.

Another two girls identified as Aarti Kumari and Khushaboo Kumari committed suicide in Bhagalpur district of Bihar. Both committed suicides by hanging from the ceiling fan, media reports said today. Another girl attempted suicide in Sheikhpura district but the timely medical attention by parents saved her life. She is still in the hospital.

Another shocking news came from Kaimur district where a girl identified as Rukhsana died of heart attack out of shock after coming to know that she had failed the examination.

The incidents come in the aftermath of around 70 per cent students failing to clear the Grade 12 examination conducted by the Bihar School Examination Board (BSEB). The results were announced on Tuesday.

As per an official report, more than 1.24 million students appeared at the examination this year out of which 794,622 failed. While 70 per cent failed in science stream, 65 per cent was declared unsuccessful in arts stream. The commerce students, however, fared a little better with their failure percentage limited to only 26.

Angry students in the meanwhile protested across the state for the second consecutive day on Thursday, shouting slogans against the government and burning effigies of officials, blaming them for ruining their career. Many wondered over the results and refused to believe it.

Alarmed at the ongoing protests by the students, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has in the meantime assured all help to the students saying their answersheets would be re-examined within a month.

“If they (protesting students) feel justice has not been done to them in evaluation, it’s their right to seek scrutiny of the paper. That will be done. I have also asked the BSEB for early compartmental examination so that students could get one more chance to pass,” Kumar told the media on Wednesday night, soon after holding a cabinet meeting.

In another related development, the state government removed education secretary Jitendra Srivastava from his post and replaced him by Robert L Chonghtu.