IIT Kharagpur third-year student found hanging in hostel

The body of an IIT Kharagpur third-year student was found hanging in her hostel on Monday, police said.

The student has been identified as Devika Pillai (21), a senior police officer told PTI.

“The female student was found hanging from the ceiling of the hostel building. Whether it is a case of suicide or something else is yet to be ascertained. We have started an investigation of the death,” the IPS officer said.

The police had earlier stated that the student was a fourth-year student.

The body has been sent to Kharagpur Sub-Divisional Hospital for post-mortem examination, the officer added.

Confirming the news, the IIT Kharagpur said in a statement Pillai, a third-year student of the Department of Biotechnology, was found hanging from the roof of Sarojini Naidu/ Indira Gandhi (hostel) Hall premises in the morning.

“With a sense of utter shock, the students, staff, and faculty members of IIT Kharagpur deeply mourn the sudden loss of Devika Pillai….She was found hanging in her Sarojini Naidu/Indira Gandhi Hall premises on the morning of June 17, 2024. Upon discovery of the incident, the campus security and medical teams were immediately alerted. District police authorities have been informed. Her family has also been informed immediately,” the statement said.

Asked if it was a case of suicide or if there could be any foul play, the institute spokesperson said, “The police are conducting a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding Pillai’s death. The institute is fully cooperating with the authorities.”

Recalling Pillai was an academically gifted student, the institute said in the statement she had a promising future in the field of biosciences and biotechnology. She was general secretary, of social and cultural, at Sarojini Naidu/Indira Gandhi Hall.

She was pursuing a summer internship at the Department of Bioscience and Biotechnology.

“IIT Kharagpur is committed to the well-being and mental health of its students. We have a range of support services available, including counseling and mental health resources, and we urge students to utilize these services whenever needed,” the spokesperson said.

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