The highly decomposed body of a security guard of the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, was found floating in an oxidation pond on the campus on Monday. Police are investigating whether it is a case of murder or suicide. However, two colleagues of the deceased have been absconding since the body surfaced.

Sources with the Kotturpuram police said the deceased was identified as M. Abdul Khalak (35) of Barpeta district, Assam, working with the Velachery branch of an Andhra Pradesh-based private security agency. Around 11 p.m. on Monday, Abdul's decomposed body, entangled in a nylon rope, was found floating in the oxidation pond adjacent to Mahanadhi hostel by Suresh Kondiah, a worker of the sewage pump house near the hostel. He alerted the security personnel who later called the police.

“His neck and legs were tangled in a rope which was tied to a stone at the bottom of the pond. We are investigating whether the victim was strangled to death and his body dumped in the pond using the stone. The body was badly decomposed, therefore we are waiting for the post-mortem report to ascertain whether it is a suicide or murder,” said S.N. Seshasai, Joint Commissioner of Police, East.

Abdul was residing in a rented house on Raja Street, Taramani, with four colleagues who are also posted on the IIT campus. He had last reported to work on June 3 but was seen in the house till the afternoon of June 5.

As part of the investigation, police are questioning Abdul's colleagues and roommates. A few of them appeared before the investigating team after they were called to the Kotturpuram police station on Monday afternoon.

“Two of his roommates initially responded to our calls on their mobile phones and said they would come for questioning. But they are now absconding and their phones are switched off. We are suspecting whether the duo had to anything to do with the guard's death,” said R. Sivasankaran, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Kotturpuram.

Abdul Khalak's wife and his two-year-old son live in Assam.

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