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Sunday, July 17, 2016


Mumbai Mirror | Jul 15, 2016, 12.50 AM IST

One is a research scholar and the other a professor's wife; both mothers of young children.

Two women — a research scholar and the wife of a professor — were found hanging in their rooms at the Indian Institute of Technology or IIT Madras on Wednesday. Police said 34-year-old post-doctoral scholar P Maheswari and 47-year-old Vijaya Lakshmi committed suicide within hours of each other. Both were mothers of young children. 

Vijaya Lakshmi's husband Ganesan teaches physics at the institute. A mother of two, she was found hanging at the family's room inside the campus around 4 pm on Wednesday. 

Within three hours, the body of P Maheswari was found in her hostel room. Married for 12 years, she has an 11-year-old son. Sources in the police say she was reportedly "depressed" and had attempted to kill herself earlier as well. "She was a strong and independent woman," said Maheswari's brother Sathish Kumar, who appeared to be in a state of shock. 

While investigations are on to ascertain the exact reason for their deaths, a senior police official said "family issues" could have forced the two women to take the extreme step. 

Condoling the scholar's death, IIT Madras released a statement on Wednesday saying, "IIT Madras reports with deep sadness the death of a post-doctoral research scholar on the campus. The scholar's family has been informed. The institute extends its condolences to the family and the near and dear ones of the scholar for the unfortunate, untimely and devastating loss."