The body of a 31-year-old research scholar of IIT-Kharagpur was found hanging in his hostel room, police said on Tuesday.
The body of Bhavanibhatla Kondal Rao was found in his room on the second floor of the B R Ambedkar Hall around 10 am on Monday, they said. Unable to contact him over the phone, his parents informed other inmates of the hostel. They found Rao’s room to be locked from inside and after repeated knocking when he did not open the door, they informed police, an official said. The police then rushed to the hostel and broke open the door, finding the body to be hanging, he said.
Rao, a resident of Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh, was a research scholar in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. He got married in February at his hometown and after staying there with his family for around two weeks, he returned to the campus before the lockdown begun, according to district police sources. His wife is currently in Chennai where she is working, they said.
IIT-Kharagpur director V K Tewari, who described Rao as a “bright young scholar”, said the institute has got in touch with his family. He said Rao is suspected to have committed suicide and the matter is being investigated.
Police said the body has been sent for post-mortem examination and the reason behind the incident is being probed. Very few students are currently on the campus as most of them returned home before the lockdown was imposed.
Rao, who joined the Indian Institute of Technology-Kharagpur in 2015, was on the verge of completing his research project, his friends said. They remembered him as a jovial person and popular among students and faculty members. Some of them said that he was under some sort of mental stress but didn’t share it with anyone.
Following Rao’s death, the director, in a Facebook post, urged students to connect with friends who need support. “Look beyond the hurdles which at present may seem like the most critical chapter of your life but are mere speed-breakers if you are able to envision your life in the long run,” he said. “Try to reach out to us, your faculty supervisors, the counselling centre and your peers. Talk to your friends and
family, your seniors, your juniors, they are only a tap away from your phone in this century and at this time,” Tewari said in his post.