At least 20 students in India reportedly committed suicide in the past week after believing they had failed their exams.
Now the parents of some of those students are saying they believe a “technical glitch” may have caused the wrong results.
According to the Khaleej Times, nearly a million students took the exams and nearly 350,000 failed, which prompted an investigation into the test results.
Parents have claimed that the results were caused by an error on the part of a software company, Globarena Technologies Private Limited, which developed software to process the tests, FirstPost reported.
“There were technical glitches in the software,” N. Narayana, president of a parents association, told The Indian Express. “It appears the whole process was full of mistakes. Unfortunately, due to these mistakes, students who failed are taking their lives.”
In the latest incident, 19-year-old Akrapu Mithi killed herself in Telangana state, according to the Gulf News.
The publication reports Mithi attended a private college nearby and was apparently depressed after the results were announced on April 18.
In one extreme case, a student called Sirisha set herself on fire in Narayanpet district, also in Telangana state, over the weekend, the Khaleej Times also reported.
Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao said recounting and reverification would be done on students who failed their exams, according to the Times.
He urged them not to kill themselves, saying that failing the test was not a reason to end their lives.
In 2016, about 230,300 Indians died of suicide, which is about a 40 percent increase from the levels in 1990, NPR reported.
If you are in an emergency in India, call Befrienders India – National Association at +91 33 2474 4704.
If you are in an emergency in the U.S. or Canada, call 911. You can also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline on 1 800 273 8255.