CHENNAI: It could have been family pressure against continuing studies that forced P Maheshwari to commit suicide in her hostel room on Wednesday, say police investigating the death of the post-doctoral research scholar at IIT-Madras.
Maheshwari (34), doing research in Chemistry, was found hanging dead in her hostel room at around 5 pm on Wednesday.
She was married to Padiarajan, who is an HOD in a private college near Puducherry, for 12 years and the couple have a 10-year-old son. The father and son are living in Puducherry. Based on inquiries with family members, disharmony in family is suspected by police to be the motivation as they had objected to Maheshwari living separately to pursue her research.
“A relative of the victim told us that her family scolded her for not staying with them and taking care of the child,” said a police source privy to the case.
However, the family members, speaking to Express on Thursday, denied the version and said Maheswari did not have any issues with them. While it was believed that a suicide note was recovered from Maheswari’s room, police officers denied the claim. However, police said that they had recovered a broken cellphone from the room and were collecting details on the calls made by her on Wednesday.
Maheswari had been staying in Chennai for the last one year to pursue her fellowship at IIT-Madras. She had very recently visited her family in Puducherry and had returned to the campus only on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, G Vijayalakshmi (47), wife of an Assistant Professor at IIT-Madras, also committed suicide on Wednesday in the campus quarters. According to police, Vijayalakshmi took the drastic step as she was depressed over the condition of her disabled child.