BENGALURU: A 25-year-old MTech student in the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) took his own life in his room on the campus. He took the extreme step after sending a message to his friends back in his native Chattisgarh about “ending his own life” as he was having Covid-19 symptoms for the last few days.
The youth, Sandeep Kumar Markande, was found hanging after IISc security and administration staff along with the police rushed to his room on being alerted by his friends in Chattisgarh.
On receiving the mail, Markande’s shocked friends back home had desperately tried calling him to talk him out of such thoughts. However, on receiving no response to their calls, they alerted the IISc staff about the mail. The institute staffers, in turn, alerted the police.
A senior police officer said the incident came to light around 7.30 am when the institute’s staffers from the administrative department called Sadashivnagar police under whose jurisdiction IISc campus falls. They rushed to Markande’s room and on getting no response to their doorbells, they broke open the door to find him hanging in his room.
The youth’s body was then shifted to MS Ramaiah hospital for a postmortem examination.
What has baffled the police and the IISc staffers is Markande’s mention in the mail to his friends that he was suffering from Covid symptoms since a few days. The IISc staff said they found no report of Covid test, nor had Markande visited any hospital for a Covid-19 test to be conducted.
Markande lived alone in his room and was known by his classmates as a friendly person, besides being brilliant in his studies.
An IISc statement said: "We are deeply saddened to report the death of a student in IISc by suicide. We express our heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of the student, who was pursuing an MTech degree at the Department of Computational and Data Sciences. The mental well-being of our students, faculty, and staff is of serious concern to us and we have provided facilities and wellness resources which include 24 x 7 emergency call service for anyone needing to talk to a mental health professional, 24 x 7 online counselling and support, one-on-one counselling with counsellors and psychiatrists on campus, and other resources and links hosted by IISc's Wellness Centre."
Based on a complaint by IIS authorities, a case of unnatural death has been registered, and the police are waiting for Markande’s parents to arrive for further investigations, the police added.