GUWAHATI: A Japanese intern at the Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati allegedly committed suicide on Thursday.
The body of Kota Onoda was found hanging in his hostel bathroom at around 3:30pm. The deceased had joined the institute in August for a three-month-long internship course, authorities in IIT-Guwahati said.
“He didn’t go to the lab yesterday as well as today (Thursday). So, some of his friends tried to reach him on the phone but didn’t get through to him. Later, they went to his hostel room, which was locked from inside, and shouted at him but there was no response. Eventually, they informed the IIT authorities. Soon, the police were called in. They broke open the door and found him hanging in the bathroom,” IIT-Guwahati spokesman Labanu Konwar told this newspaper.
Quoting Onoda’s friends, Konwar said there was nothing unnatural in the intern’s behaviour prior to his death.
“He was scheduled to return to Japan on November 30 at the end of his course and had his ticket booked,” the spokesman said.
Some Japanese nationals, who were in Guwahati, visited the institute on Thursday, possibly after being asked by the Japanese Embassy in India. One of them was said to be a deputy minister.
Konwar said the autopsy would be conducted on Friday. The police said they were conducting an investigation.
About half a dozen incidents of suicides by students have occurred at IIT-Guwahati over the past four to five years.
(Assistance for those having suicidal thoughts is available at Assam health helpline Sarathi 104)