The PhD student of IIT Bombay, whose was found dead in Visakhapatnam is learnt to have committed suicide, said the Mumbai police.
The body of M Siva Theja, 26, was recovered from a lodge in Visakhapatnam on January 18, four days after he was reported missing.
Senior inspector Yadavrao Jadhav of Powai police station said, “We have now learnt that he committed suicide. We have asked the local police to send us a report so that we can conduct further investigations and look at all possible angles.”
The Visakhapatnam police had found a polythene taped to Theja’s face and around his fingers. A plastic tape roll was found near the body. His dismantled mobile phone and ID card were found in the room.
The PhD student had left the campus without informing anyone. Initially, sources had said that the death could have been caused by suffocation, and that the post-mortem report had not indicated poisoning.
Theja had reached the Visakhapatnam lodge on January 16. The incident came to light on January 18 when the room-cleaning staff suspected something amiss after failing to get any response from Theja.
Theja’s parents had lodged a missing complaint with the Mumbai police on January 15 after they lost contact with their son. They were staying at the IIT-B guest house but rushed to Visakhapatnam on January 18, an IIT official said.
IIT-B officials and students said PhD students often go on trips or for interviews without informing anyone; so, his absence had not raised any suspicion.
“Theja had not shown any sign of depression. In fact, he was a bright student and had recently helped organise a conference,” said Urjit Yajnik, dean of students’ affairs.