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Sunday, February 2, 2014

223 - IIT-B student's 'strange' death baffles doctors - TOI

Yogita Rao & Sulogna Mehta, TNN Jan 22, 2014, 04.05AM IST

MUMBAI: IIT-B's electrical engineering department held a condolence meeting in the memory of its PhD student M Siva Theja (26) on Tuesday. Several students, faculty members and the staff from his department were present at the meet.

Siva was found dead in a lodge in Visakhapatnam on Saturday. His face was covered with a polythene sheet and taped at the neck; his fingers too were taped. While the Vizag police are yet to ascertain the nature of the death, they have not sent their team for investigation to Mumbai. Doctors at Vizag's King George Hospital termed the death "strange and rare".

A hospital source said, "The plastic was removed from the mouth when the body was brought to the mortuary for post-mortem, the plastic cover was removed from the mouth. However, the transparent adhesive tape was rolled onto each finger of both the hands and no suicide note was found. But the door was bolted from inside." Though doctors have confirmed that the death was due to suffocation, they are awaiting the viscera report, which will take two to four weeks, to rule out poisoning.
An IIT-B official said Siva had switched off his cellphone when he was on the institute campus. "The last connectivity was tracked down to the institute. It is difficult to determine when he left the city."
Siva was pursuing research in network and control theory and was about to submit a thesis this summer. "He was in the advanced stage of his research and one of our brightest candidates. He was good at academics and was popular in the department," said professor Ajay Karandikar, head of department. Siva's death is a great loss to the department, he saidas he had a promising career

But very few students from the hostel where he stayed knew him, claimed a hostel council member. He stayed on the fourth floor of hostel 14's A wing. Another student said Siva had already accepted a post doctoral position, before the news of his death shocked them all.