PhD student at IISc Bengaluru found dead in hostel room, suicide suspected

Sadashivanagar police said the youth’s friends found his body in the room on Monday morning

A PhD student at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru, was found dead in his hostel room Monday. The deceased Rajarshi Bhattacharya, a native of Kolkata, was a third-year PhD student at the institute’s Department of Organic Chemistry.

Sadashivanagar police said the youth’s friends found his body in the hostel room on Monday morning and alerted the institute management and police. “We have sent samples of the medicines to the Forensic Science Laboratory for analysis,” a senior police official said.

“We are investigating whether he killed himself… Prima facie, it appears to be a case of suicide,” the officer added. Police have registered a case of unnatural death based on a complaint from the institute. The body was handed over to family members on Monday night after autopsy.

In a statement, the IISc said: “It is with deep sorrow that we announce the death of a student by suicide. The student was pursuing a PhD from the Department of Organic Chemistry. We express our heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of the student.”

The institute added that the mental health and well-being of students and community members are of critical importance, especially given the prevailing Covid-19 situation. “We strongly urge IISc community members to reach out and seek help from the following facilities and mental health resources — 24×7 emergency call service for anyone needing to talk to a mental health professional. Phone number: 080-47113444,” it said.

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