Inside the room where 35-year-old JNU student JR Philemon Chiruwas found dead, police recovered an empty Star whisky bottle, 10 different types of tablets - possibly paracetamol – a pack of cigarettes and an empty disposable plastic glass. The door was locked from inside; an English movie was playing on his laptop and the room lights were switched on.
A day after the PhD student was found dead in his room – number 171 at the Brahmaputra hostel – police have prima facie ruled out foul play. The investigating officers remained tight-lipped and said they are awaiting Chiru’s post mortem report.
“We suspect that he died of an accidental drug overdose. The whisky bottle was empty and the plastic glass disposable glass had fallen on the floor. There wasn’t any ransacking and the door was locked from inside. We have sent medicines recovered from his room for expert medical opinion,” said an officer.
Many students HT spoke to said Chiru was a habitual drinker. A few said Chiru often complained of liver pain. A woman who works as a sweeper claimed that last week, she had taken 11 bottles from his room. “Let’s wait for post mortem team,” an officer said, refusing to comment on Chiru’s alleged addiction.
On Tuesday evening, adjacent to Chiru’s room, another PhD student in room number 170 was troubled by the foul smell emanating from the next room. He thought the smell was from the toilet next to Chiru’s room – the toilet has a history of sewage leak.
At around 10.20 pm, when the stench was unbearable, he informed the hostel security guards. The guard alerted his other colleagues and along with a group of students, they assembled on the first floor. That was when somebody in the group said Chiru’s room was locked and that he was not seen for the last 3-4 days.
“The guards climbed to see Chiru’s room from the window above the door. They saw him on the ground, face down. They thought he was unwell and broke the door. On entering the door they saw he was not breathing. There was a blood clot on his head and then they informed the police,” said additional deputy commissioner of police (south) Nupur Prasad.
Police reached the spot and found Chiru naked and dead on the floor next to the bed and the wall. The fan and the room lights were switched on. Police suspect Chiru may have died the previous evening. On Wednesday, a team of doctors conducted the post-mortem at AIIMS. Police are yet to register a case.