IISER Kolkata Researcher Found Dead Inside Physics Laboratory

Deceased student Subhadip Roy

Mohonpur(Nadia), April 4: A final year researcher of integrated Ph.D. attached to the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research – Kolkata (IISER-K) was found dead inside a physics laboratory at the institute’s Mohonpur campus on Monday afternoon.

The body of Subhadip Roy, 29, who was working on solid-state physics, was found lying on the floor of the laboratory with his head partially wrapped with plastic.

Security personnel of the institute broke open the door of the laboratory to recover the body, in presence of faculty members, students, and other officials. A doctor attached to the institute first examined him. A resident of the Nagerbazar area in Dumdum, Subhadip was then taken to Jagulia hospital where an attending doctor declared him dead.

The hospital authorities later informed the police which sent the body for autopsy at the Kalyani-based JNM Hospital & College of Medicine. The autopsy will be conducted on Tuesday after which the body will be handed over to the mother of the deceased.

Sources said that around a dozen of empty containers of Demoscanil Lime Sulfur, a pet medicine for external anti-fungal treatment, were found lying near the body.

It could not be immediately ascertained whether the researcher consumed the contents of the containers. Doctors, however, claimed that the Demoscanil Lime Sulfur is highly harmful for human consumption.

IISER-Kolkata campus in Mohanpur

IISER-Kolkata campus in Mohanpur

Some close friends of Subhadip said that he entered the laboratory on Sunday evening. At around 9.30 pm other students left the laboratory but he remained there. “It was his usual practice to work for long hours even till late at night”, a friend said.

This is the second incident of the mysterious death of a student inside the IISER K campus since May 2017 when Sagar Mondal, a second-year student of the BSMS course committed suicide.

IISER K Director Professor Sourav Pal said, “I was not at the institute today. I am not aware how the researcher died…It is very sad news to me”.

The deceased researcher was very popular among the student and was the former general secretary of the IISER K Students’ Affairs Committee.

An official said that Subhadip joined IISER in 2014 as a student of a 7-year Integrated Ph.D. course in Physics. Two years ago he lost his father and since then was concerned about her widowed mother.

Sources at the IISER-K said that the bizarre reality came to light at about 11 m when some students tried to enter the physics laboratory located on the first floor of the Research Building.

“The students found the door bolted from inside. They informed us …we summoned the security guards who broke open the door and found Subhadip was lying on the floor. His face turned unusually black. We immediately called our doctor who advised us to take him to the hospital. At the Jagulia hospital, a doctor examined Subhadip and said he died much earlier”, an official said.

Haringhata police that took possession of the body, however, has yet to begin a probe. “We are waiting for the family members of the deceased as well as the outcome of the post mortem report. Till late in the evening none has made any contact with us”, an officer of Haringhata police station said.

A senior professor on anonymity said, “The death of Subhadip is quite shocking to me. I don’t believe he could commit suicide. But the container of the pet medicine those were found close to his body is quite mysterious. He was quite successful in research works and had a number of good publications to his credit”.

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