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Mystery shrouds death of AMU professor

Aligarh Muslim University Professor Shrinivas Ramchandra Siras, who was suspended from the university recently after he was filmed participating in a homosexual act with a rickshaw puller, was found dead under mysterious circumstances at his rented accommodation in Aligarh on Wednesday evening. The 64-year-old professor was staying alone.

Only last week the Allahabad High Court had issued a stay order against Dr. Siras' suspension from the university and also on his ouster from his campus accommodation.

Superintendent of Police (Aligarh City) Man Singh Chauhan said: “ Prima facie it appears to be a case of suicide or something like a heart attack. At the moment it does not seem to be a case of murder. Since a foul smell was emanating from the room, Dr. Siras must have been dead for a minimum of eight to twelve hours.”

Dr. Siras was also reportedly involved in a property dispute case and had gone to Nagpur recently for a court hearing.

Aligarh Muslim University spokesperson Rahat Abrar said on Wednesday evening: “Dr. Siras was staying in a rented accommodation in the Durgabai area of Marris Road. Neighbours complained to the police on Wednesday about a foul smell emanating from Dr. Siras' accommodation which was bolted from inside.”

“The police had to break open the door around 6 p.m. and found Dr. Siras lying on his bed with blood on his mouth. Until the post-mortem report comes in, it is difficult to comment.

The death could even have been due to natural causes such as a heart attack or brain haemorrhage,” he added.

“The university is saddened by his demise and the Vice-Chancellor is shocked and has expressed his condolences. The university had revoked Dr. Siras' suspension and he was to resume duty soon,” Dr. Abrar added.

University authorities said they would be talking to Dr. Siras' family to make arrangements for taking away the body.

‘Unexpected and shocking'

A philosophy teacher at AMU, Dr. Tariq Islam, who was a close friend of Dr. Siras, said: “The death is highly unexpected and shocking. Dr. Siras had come to meet me on Monday and he seemed his normal self. He was very happy about the Allahabad High Court stay order.

Mobile switched off

Since Tuesday morning people had been unable to contact him as his mobile phone was switched off. This was unusual because Dr. Siras never switched off his phone. He was not the type to react sharply to events and was tough.”

Anjali Gopalan of Naz Foundation, which has been supporting Dr. Siras, said: “When I spoke to him a couple of days ago he did not sound suicidal at all. I am horrified at the news of his death. It does not make sense. He was admittedly an old man and would have been undergoing tremendous stress because of the recent developments.”


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Printable version | Oct 10, 2021 1:39:31 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/Mystery-shrouds-death-of-AMU-professor/article16364777.ece

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