In less than 24 hours of declaring that a coaching student had committed suicide by jumping off his hostel building after setting himself on fire in Kota, investigators on Wednesday said it could just be an accident.
Yogesh Johare, 17, a resident of Chhindwara in Madhya Pradesh, who was taking coaching for the IIT-JEE in Kota, could have caught fire while attempting a chemistry experiment in his room and fallen from the building while trying to extinguish the fire, police as well as the boy’s family said.
The dead boy’s parents, Sitaram Johare and Usha Johare, arrived in Kota on Wednesday, and later the postmortem was conducted on the body in their presence.
Sitaram said they visited the hostel room of their son in Mahaveer Nagar III area of Kota city along with police, who had sealed it on Tuesday.
Insisting that Yogesh could not commit suicide, he said no suicide note was found from the room.
Instead, a tiffin box, a glass, a teaspoon, a bottle filled with turpentine oil, another bottle partially filled and some oil spread around the room, along with a notebook mentioning chemistry equations, were found from the room, he said.
The room’s condition and the recovered items suggested that Yogesh might have attempted some chemistry experiment in which he caught fire and later jumped off the building to extinguish it, the father said.
“My son might be conducting some kind of chemistry experiment related to temperature,” he said. “If he wanted to commit suicide then why only 100 ml of turpentine oil was empty from one bottle.”
The mother revealed that their son had the habit of conducting science experiments at their home in Chhindwara. “My son was lively and got 73% marks in Class 12, so there was no point for committing suicide,” said the weeping mother.
The father said Yogesh had called him on the night of August 10, a day before his death, and he did not appear disturbed at all. Yogesh had arrived in Kota on July 20 for the coaching.
Assistant sub inspector and investigation officer in the case, Ramesh Chand Bhargava said that after talking to the boy’s parents and the investigation of the spot, the death appears to be an accident instead of suicide.
The student had received severe head injuries after falling on the ground which claimed his life, he said, adding that forensic test of the items recovered from the boy’s room would be done for the detailed investigation.