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Colleague 'taunts' in reader death

April 14: Police officers looking into the death of Visva-Bharati reader Naren Dash today said humiliation from some of his colleagues might have forced him to commit suicide.

Dash, 45, who was in charge of the department of Indo-Tibetan studies, went missing on Sunday. He was found injured beside the railway tracks near Kapali Road station in Bhadrak, Orissa. Originally from Bhuban village in Jajpur district of Orissa, Dash died in a hospital in Bhadrak.

A three-member investigating team that returned from Orissa today said 20 ml of poison, identified as pesticide, was found in his stomach. 'He could have jumped out of a train after taking poison,' an officer said. The police, in Orissa and Bengal, are awaiting the viscera examination report.

'Depression arising out of internal problems in his department had led him to go to an undisclosed destination. But we cannot immediately conclude that it was suicide. The railway police in Orissa have started a case of unnatural death,' said Akhil Roy, the Birbhum superintendent of police.

An investigating officer said interrogation of some of Dash's colleagues had revealed that he was 'regularly teased' for not being an expert in the Tibetan language. 'A PhD in Sanskrit, he was not very sound in Tibetan. A section of his colleagues teased and humiliated him on this ground. Being the head of the department, Dash was disturbed.' He had also expressed desire to resign from his post.

All of his colleagues were tight-lipped today.

The discovery of two train tickets in his pocket has also puzzled the detectives.

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