Research scholar who committed suicide IIT-Delhi’s Nalanda apartment, victim’s parents alleged her in-laws tortured her mentally and physically

Research scholar who commuted suicide IIT-Delhi's Nalanda apartment, victim's parents alleged her in-laws tortured her mentally and physically

NEW DELHI,June1: A day after a 27-year-old research scholar allegedly hanged herself in her room at IIT-Delhi’s Nalanda Apartment, the victim, Manjula Devak’s parents alleged that her in-laws had tortured her mentally and physically. They also accused them of abetting her suicide.

Police said they had received a call around 8pm on Tuesday. Neighbours and fellow scholars told the cops that Manjula had switched off her phone on Monday evening but they saw her on the campus on Tuesday afternoon.

“I last spoke to her on Sunday but we had no idea that she would take such an extreme step two days later. She told us that she would be coming home for vacations soon. A day later, she blocked us on all social media platforms. Now, we are able to connect the dots,” the victim’s father Manoj Kumar Devak told TOI. “I wish I had known what she was going through, so that I could have counselled her. Such a waste of talent. She had an entire life in front of her, but she chose to end it because of a man who deserves nothing but hatred for having tortured my daughter so much.”

He said Manjula’s was an arrange marriage and her in-laws were from Bhopal. “At the time of marriage, her in-laws agreed on her taking up a PhD course. Later, they started demanding dowry and used to beat up her regularly. They even asked her to quit her research. When she blatantly refused to do so, her husband asked for a divorce. She often made distress calls to us several times and we had to intervene,” he added.

Devak, a resident of Bhopal, said Manjula’s husband had left his job about two years ago and since then, he had been visiting her on the IIT campus. Neighbours said that whenever he came there, he created a scene.

Nidhi, a fellow resident in the apartment, said that on Tuesday evening, she heard some noise as if some objects had broken in Manjula’s room. “As I stepped out, I found the window of her room was broken and she was hanging from the ceiling fan. I raised an alarm and some neighbours gathered there. Finally, we managed to break open the door. Cops also reached the spot,” she said.

Police said Manjula was taken to a hospital where she was declared brought dead. “The local SDM was informed to carry out proceedings. We are trying to ascertain why she took the extreme step,” said Chinmoy Biswal, additional DCP-I (South).

An MTech gold medallist from the IIT-D, Manjula was about to submit her PhD thesis in a couple of days, Devak said, adding that she she had recently returned from Austria and was to travel to Singapore soon. Police said that a case has been registered.

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