The family members of the Manchester Metropolitan University student Souvik Pal, whose body was found in a canal in Old Trafford on Tuesday, have demanded a probe even as autopsy reports stated his death as “inconclusive”.

The 19-year-old Bangalore boy was last seen outside the Warehouse Project nightclub where he went to celebrate New Year’s Eve.

His inconsolable grandfather, Alok Ranjan Pal, told reporters on Wednesday the family is suspects foul play. “We are demanding a thorough investigation,” he said.

When reporters tried talking to Souvik’s mother, Mahuya Pal, in their residence in Hebbal, she was in no state to talk. The grief-stricken mother tearfully appealed to the government to help bring her son’s body home as soon as possible.

Foul play

Rudra Roy, a family friend, told The Hindu: “We’re suspecting foul play since divers had searched [the canal] times and had not been able to find anything at all for more than 20 days. There is also a possibility he could have been murdered and [the body] dumped in the canal.”

Mr. Roy said Souvik’s mother Mahuya Pal first received confirmation of her son’s death when a Manchester reporter called her. Souvik’s father, Santanu Pal, who has been camping in Manchester for over two weeks in the hope of finding his son, identified the body. “It was in a decomposed state and a birthmark on the right side of his forehead helped in identification. The rescue team also found his passport, an identity card and a watch in the canal.”

To arrive in 10 days

The father is expected to arrive here with the body in 10 days.

An AFP report quoted the Detective Chief Inspector Colin Larkin of Greater Manchester Police saying the product design student was not attacked and extending the police’s sympathy to the grief-stricken family.

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