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Saturday, September 7, 2013

211 - IIT professor's brutal murder leaves Roorkee shocked - TNN


DS Kunwar, TNN Aug 31, 2013, 03.35AM IST

ROORKEE: It's a murder that has left this quaint and quiet Uttarakhand town, flanked by the spectacular Himalayas, edgy and baffled. The bizarre and brutal killing of IIT Roorkee professor Arun Kumar (60) has rattled cops into launching one of the biggest manhunts hereabouts, left the academic community banging their heads as to what exactly happened, and the townsfolk talking about the strange misfortune of the professor's family: two of his previous wives committed suicide.

Prof Kumar, who taught electrical computer science ever since IIT-Roorkee came into being 12 years ago, was found murdered with his throat slit and right ribs cut, on Wednesday. His wrists were slashed as well. His colleagues informed the police after they came to know about it through a maid servant, who was the first to discover the body.

The killing has shaken not only the academic community and young technocrats in the IIT campus but also a cross-section of people in the small town. "Prof Kumar was a respected member of the academic community and among students in the campus and the town," said a retired college teacher in Roorkee who knew him.

"It has shocked us," said another teacher. "He was known to be a bit reclusive. His violent death does raise security issues within the campus," he added. "If police fail to arrest those responsible for murder of an eminent person like Prof Kumar, how can we expect them to give us security," said an electronics' equipment dealer Mohammed Hatim.

Members of Roorkee Vyapar Sangh and other social and non-political organizations in Haridwar have demanded action. "The way Kumar was killed inside his flat shows deteriorating law and order," said former Roorkee Nagar Palika chairman Dinesh Kaushik.

One of Prof Kumar's three daughters, Geetika Gupta, who rushed from Gurgaon after cops informed her about the death, said, "The way my father was found dead, with multiple and deep injuries, it's obvious he was murdered. The question of suicide does not arise."

Haridwar SSP Rajiv Swaroop told TOI that unidentified people have been booked for Kumar's murder on the basis of the FIR lodged by Geetika. Her sisters live abroad.

"We're working on different murder theories including the possible involvement of those close to Kumar. This would include relatives of his two wives, Madhulika and Sadhna, both of whom committed suicide," said a police officer. The maid will be questioned as well.

According to police, while his first wife Madhulika committed suicide by burning herself, his second wife, who worked with State Bank of India's Roorkee branch too killed herself around two years ago. Kumar has three daughters from his first wife Madhulika and no children from Sadhna.

An eight-member police team led by SP Ajay Singh is investigating the case. "We are working on all possible angles including involvement of those close to Kumar."

A professor in IIT campus said Kumar lived all alone. He had weak eyesight and had trouble moving about. Because of this he rarely left home after sunset, the professor added. A police officer in Haridwar said the postmortem confirmed that Prof Kumar's death was caused due to excessive bleeding from a deep slit in his throat by a sharp weapon.