Conflicting reports over the death of Telugu research scholar Harinath Kotte in the US has left his family back home, at Bellampalli in the district, clueless about the actual cause of his death. The family has only been informed that the 31-year-old was found dead in his room at Amarillo, Texas on Monday. Harinath was reportedly last seen by his friends on Saturday night.
Ramesh, Harinath's father, is in Hyderabad to claim his son's body with the help of US Embassy officials. He had earlier planned to go to the US himself but later dropped the plan after his son's friends assured him of sending the body back home at the earliest. "I was told that he was scheduled to submit his research papers on Monday but did not turn up for the class, only to be found dead in his room by his friend. The cause of death is yet to be ascertained as the body has been sent for postmortem and a preliminary report is expected to be given on Thursday, after which the body will be handed over to us," he told Express.
Harinath, who went to the US in August 2009, was working as a research assistant at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. He was researching on ways to increase the efficacy of cancer anti-dotes, through use of drugs and therapy. A native of Housing Board Colony, Bellampalli he had last paid a visit to his family in January this year.
"The different versions that we heard about his death ,including him being shot dead or that he committed suicide, have left us perplexed," Harinath's sister Lavanya told Express. On Tuesday morning, Harinath's younger brother Sasi Kumar, who is working in an IT firm at Hyderabad, received the news of death of his brother over the phone from the university authorities.
Though hailing from a poor family headed by a father who runs a pan shop, Harinath completed his bachelors and masters in pharmacy from the Kakatiya University before joining the Texas Tech University.
He had published several articles in the American Association for Cancer Research and was working in the laboratory of Dr Kalkunte Srivenugopal.