IIT lab assistant, wife, mother found dead at campus
A 35-year-old man working at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi, as a senior lab assistant, his 32-year-old wife and mother were found hanging in their house on the IIT campus in south Delhi on Friday night.
Police said the couple, who married in February, often fought and the wife’s family had recently complained to the police about domestic violence by the man. The police suspect that one such fight between the couple on Friday may have instigated the family members,including the man’s 68-year-old mother, to end their lives. No suicide note has been recovered from the house.
According to the police, it was second marriage for both of the man and his wife and they had no children.
Deputy commissioner of police (southwest) Devender Arya said the police control room received a call from a woman who alleged domestic violence at the house.
“Our team rushed to the house and found the door was open. When we entered the house we found two women and a man hanging in three different rooms,” Arya said. “While the lab assistant was hanging from an overhead rod in a corridor, the two women were found hanging from ceiling fans in the two bedrooms... Crime and forensics teams were called to the spot. No suicide note has been found so far. All three have no external injuries and the bodies were moved to Safdarjung Hospital.”
The police found that the woman who had made the police call was the lab assistant’s mother-in-law, who lives in west Delhi’s Naraina. “She said that her youngest of three daughters was married to the man on February 20, 2019. She said the man worked at the department of biochemistry. She said she was trying to call her daughter, a housewife, all day but there was no response from her. She said she panicked and alerted the police,” the DCP said.
The officer said a preliminary enquiry suggested that the couple had frequent altercations. “We are questioning relatives and neighbours of the couple and the elderly woman to ascertain what led to frequent arguments between them. Reason behind the death of the IIT employee’s elderly mother is also being looked into,” he said.
The woman’s mother had complained to the Naraina police station on July 9 that the man demanded dowry and asked his wife to leave the house, the DCP said. She also said that he regularly assaulted her and he demanded dowry from her. When contacted by HT, the woman’s mother refused to talk.
“We did not pursue the complaint further as we were trying to make their relationship work. What has happened is tragic. If we knew how this would end, we would have intervened in time,” said the woman’s sister’s husband, who owns a business. He said that the marriage was arranged by relatives of both.
Relatives of the man, who reached the hospital from Karnal in Haryana, said the mother-son duo did not interact much with others in the family.
“Police called and informed us on Saturday morning and we came to collect the body for the last rites. We were not in regular touch with them and hence do not know how exactly things unfolded last night,” one of them said.
Inquest proceeding have been initiated by a magistrate as mandated by the law, DCP Arya said. “Post-mortem will be conducted by a board of doctors which has been constituted. Form the investigation so far, the nature seems to be suicidal by hanging; only after the autopsy will we be able to probe any other angle. We have also collected call details of the couple to investigate the case,” he said.
“It is an unfortunate incident. However, since this is a legal matter, the entire matter is being probed the police and we will cooperate in the investigation,” said Shiv Prakash, public relations officer at IIT-Delhi.