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Sunday, February 2, 2014

224 - IIT student's death: No poison found in body- TOI

Sulogna Mehta & V Kamalakara Rao, TNN Jan 21, 2014, 12.44PM IST

VISAKHAPATNAM: The Vizag police is yet to get to the bottom of the mysterious death of 26-year-old IIT Mumbai PhD scholar M Sivatheja, who was found dead in a city lodge on Saturday (January 18). However, the city cops decided to send a team of one sub-inspector and three constables to Mumbai to look for more clues in the case.

Confirming this to TOI, city police commissioner B Shivadhar Reddy said, "We are planning to send a local police team to Mumbai as part of our investigation, mostly by Monday evening or Tuesday. At the same time, we are also expecting a team from Mumbai police to arrive in the city. However, we have not received any communication from Mumbai police in the Sivatheja case so far."

Meanwhile, official sources said Sivatheja's death was caused by suffocation and the report of the postmortem that was performed at KGH did not find any signs of poisoning prima facie. However, to rule out the possibility of poisoning entirely, the viscera have been sent for clinical analysis. "The clinical analysis report is yet to arrive," a reliable source revealed on Monday.

Meanwhile, YVR Reddy, a distant relative of Sivatheja residing in Vizag, said that Sivatheja neither had any friends nor foes in Vizag. He said that the IIT scholar was an introvert and the two or three friends he had were all settled abroad.

He also pointed out that Sivatheja did not have any problems with his family too as the parents, particularly his father, had given him full freedom and support in his education.

"We were all shocked to hear of his demise. We are also puzzled about his decision to come to Vizag and take the extreme step. He was an intelligent guy and the nature of the suicide and the steps he took to resort to kill self is an example of his intelligence," Reddy added.

Sivatheja's face was found wrapped with a thick polythene sheet taped at the neck and his fingers too were taped with plastic tape. "The family feels he may have resorted to the extreme step because of some mental depression or pressure in his studies," Reddy said.

Meanwhile, his family members, who refused to be identified, revealed that the last person Sivatheja might have spoken to could be his cousin brother (son of his mother's sister), V Siva Santan Reddy, a PhD scholar studying in electrical engineering at IIT Kharagpur.

"Sivatheja might have spoken to Santan for nearly 20 minutes on last Sunday (January 12). Perhaps Sivatheja's last phone call was to Santan Reddy," a source pointed out. Before coming to Vizag, Sivatheja reportedly drew about Rs 5,000 from a Canara Bank ATM somewhere, including Mumbai, the sources added.
However, when TOI tried to track down Sivatheja's academic details on the IIT Mumbai website, it threw up three research projects in the name of Sivatheja M and some other students in 2009 and 2010.