The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Farewell amid cry for justice

Siliguri, April 23: The body of Prashant Anchali, a medical student, arrived here today, three days after his mysterious death in Armenia.

Two senior students ' including one from Siliguri ' of Yerevan State University accompanied the body on its last journey. The body had been embalmed and dressed in a spotless black suit.

Prashant died on April 20 after a fall from the sixth floor of a building at the university. Indian embassy officials in Armenia had said the third-year student had committed suicide.

Prashant's family is, however, not ready to accept this. They suspect he was murdered.

A crowd had gathered at the Anchali home soon after the coffin arrived at 12.15 pm. An hour or so later, it was taken for cremation.

'When everything was over, the truth finally sank in and I realised with a heavy heart that my younger brother was no more,' said a grieving Pankaj, Prashant's elder brother, in the evening. Family members said a post-mortem had been conducted in Armenia. But the report is yet to come.

The Anchalis have already written to the President, the Prime Minister and the Lok Sabha Speaker to help them find out what exactly had happened in Armenia.

Pankaj said the family has decided to request the university through the embassy to investigate into the matter. 'We have also planned to go to the human rights commission for justice,' he said.

Puja Goyel, one of the two students and a resident of Siliguri, who had accompanied the body, told The Telegraph that though she was in class when the incident occurred, she firmly believed that Prashant had not committed suicide. 'He wasn't that kind of person. I spoke to him the previous evening and he was quite normal. Most probably, it was an accident. However, the Armenian police have started an investigation and the truth would hopefully come to light soon.'

According to Puja, except for the dean of the university, Anna Sargsayn, all others including the non-Indian students, were very cooperative. 'The students lodged a complaint against the dean and she has been suspended,' the fourth-year student said.

Abhishek of Patna, the other student who had accompanied the body from Armenia, said: 'Prashant was a nice and kind-hearted fellow and also a brilliant chap. He was quite popular among the students and also liked by the teachers. The vice-president of Armenia was present during his farewell from the university,' he added.

Abhishek too was not ready to accept that Prashant had committed suicide.

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