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Murder cry in JU boy death

- ‘Injuries’ spark student family suspicion

Manish Ranjan’s family members lodged a police complaint on Wednesday alleging that the final-year engineering student at Jadavpur University had been murdered.

Manish was found hanging from a ceiling fan in his hostel room on Tuesday afternoon. Friends said he was upset after failing to land a job at Amazon during campus placements and was disappointed with his performance in an online test by Microsoft.

He died before knowing that he had been found eligible to appear for subsequent rounds of the Microsoft recruitment process.

Manish’s teachers and friends feel he has committed suicide. The student’s last rites were performed at the Nimtala crematorium on Wednesday evening.

In his complaint lodged with Bidhannagar South police station, Manish’s father Kusheshwar Nath Mishra, a businessman from Siwan in Bihar, said his son might have been murdered in the university’s Salt Lake hostel.

“It (his death) was termed as suicide. But on August 6, … while it was being carried for post-mortem, we noticed many injuries on his body, including scratches on his left hand biceps. Now we realise he was beaten badly and then he was hanged with a cloth wrapped around his neck. So it is our sincere request to the police that please cooperate with us to give justice in fair and clean manner,” the complaint read.

An officer of the police station said: “Since the preliminary post-mortem report suggests suicide, we will wait for the final report before starting a murder probe.”

The complaint, signed by Mishra, was written by his younger son Chandan Ranjan, a student of Delhi University who had flown to Calcutta on Tuesday on hearing about his brother’s death.

Mishra had initially refused to lodge the complaint but was persuaded into changing his mind by family members.

Around 10.30am on Wednesday, before the body was taken to RG Kar hospital for post-mortem, Mishra was asked whether he would lodge a complaint alleging his son had been killed.

Nahin nahin, hum koi complaint nahin karengey. Kya faida? Magar mera beta suicide nahin kar sakta (No, no, I won’t lodge any complaint. What’s the point? But I think my son could not have committed suicide),” said Mishra, numb with shock.

Wife Radha Debi was by his side, crying inconsolably.

Manish’s maternal uncle Pawan Tiwary, who lives in Burdwan, was of opinion that his nephew had been murdered. “There were injury marks all over his body. Where did these marks come from? He must been beaten up before being hanged. We are not buying the suicide theory. Only a proper police probe will reveal the truth,” said Tiwary, who was the first in the family to reach the Salt Lake hospital where the student was declared dead on Tuesday. Nephew Chandan echoed him.

A JU official said they were not surprised at the murder complaint. “How can the family accept that the elder son, a brilliant student and sportsman, had committed suicide? Let the police probe the case. We will cooperate with the family,” said a JU official.

A sub-inspector of Bidhannagar South police station said they have seized Manish’s mobile phone and laptop from his hostel room.

“Experts are scanning the devices in search of clues on what led to the death…. We are awaiting the post-mortem report,” the sub-inspector was heard telling Manish’s father.

A family member later said the post-mortem confirmed that Manish was not beaten up before his death, buttressing the suicide theory.

Friends had said the 22-year-old, who was in the top bracket of his class with an average of 7.5 on a scale of 10 in all semesters, had been upset since being eliminated in the final round of screening by e-commerce giant Amazon.

He had joined JU after passing his Class XII examination from St. Xavier’s School, Bokaro.