A teenage girl who killed herself after finding out that she had failed an exam had actually passed, according to her heartbroken family.
High school student Anamika Arutla, 17, was devastated after the results were revealed after taking her intermediate first year (Class 11) examinations.
The teen was one of up to 26 students who took their own lives after exam results were revealed and they were informed that they had failed, according to reports in India.
Anamika was declared passed on Saturday – 44 days after she died by suicide – when educators took another look at her answer sheet, but within hours they had changed their stand again and said she had indeed failed.
The teen, who was in the National Cadet Corps (NCC), had taken her own life at her grandmother's home at Bansilalpet in Secunderabad on April 18, the Hindustan Times reported.
It was the same day the Telangana Board of Intermediate Education (TBIE) results were posted online.
The website showed that she got just 20 marks out of 100 in Telugu, a language spoken in some Indian states.
But on Saturday her sister family downloaded her marks sheet after re-verification and found that Anamika, from the southern city of Hyderabad, had 48 marks and she was declared passed.
The discovery left her family outraged and sparked anger as they made national news in India.
Her grief-stricken sister Udaya told NDTV: "I think this is not a suicide by her. This is surely a murder by the government."
Udaya, who was one year older than her sister, wrote in a column on Filter Kaapi: "She was brave, she was in fact, in the NCC and her Sir would say he has not seen a more brave girl.
"Anamika aspired to be the best NCC cadet in school and college and then become an Army officer. She was full of dreams and hope."
Anamika lived with her grandmother in Hyderabad, about 185 miles away from her parents' home in Sirpur Kagaznagar, so she could attend a better school.
She had scored passing marks of 64 in English, 55 in Economics, 67 in Civics, 75 in Commerce.
Her sister wrote: "When I learnt about the marks, I knew there was some mistake because she had secured 8 GPA in Telugu in class X. But Anamika did not wait to find out what that mistake was."
In the column, published before the board reversed the marks again, Udaya added: "My father is a vegetable merchant and my mother is a housewife. Both of them are understandably heartbroken and unable to deal with the trauma of their cheerful and bright daughter killing herself.
"I know my sister will not come back. But I want to fight for justice for her and also for my parents.
"And I want to tell all youngsters, whether you pass or fail, don’t commit suicide. You may go but you will leave those behind in a lot of pain.
"What is even more traumatic in Anamika’s case is that if the marks she got now had been declared on 18th April, she would have been alive today.
"She would have happily gone to a NCC camp in Delhi, for which she was selected. She had attended an interview 10 days before she died and we got the result just last week."
Child rights association president P Achyuta Rao said it was "a clear case of goof-up by the board" and he called on the secretary to be arrested on "charges of abetting suicide".
But within hours of the reports the TBIE claimed there had been a "clerical error" and her mark was only 21, meaning she had failed.
TBIE secretary A Ashok said in a statement: “She did not get 48 marks but secured only 21, which was just one mark more than the original marks."
He claimed Anamika’s marks were wrongly uploaded as 48 “due to clerical mistake committed at the spot valuation centre".
He said none of the students who had taken their own lives had passed the examination, adding: "They would have anyway failed even after re-verification."
About two dozen students are said to have taken their own lives after the results were revealed in April.
Widespread irregularities were reported in the exams, prompting protests by students and parents, and leading to a recounting of marks and re-verification of answer sheets for the thousands of students who failed.
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