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Body of DU professor found on rail tracks, mother dead at home; colleagues blame media trial, trolls

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

The decapitated body of a Delhi University professor was found on railway tracks in Sarai Rohilla and his mother was found hanging from a ceiling fan with her mouth stuffed with cloth at their flat in Pitampura, police said on Sunday.

Allen Stanley (27), who hailed from Kottayam in Kerala, was found dead on Saturday. Earlier that day, his mother Lissy (55) was found hanging at the flat in Ashiana Apartment.

Police suspect Stanley committed suicide after killing his mother. However, no suicide note was recovered with Stanley's body, but a note written in Malayalam was found at the flat.

Police said the bodies have been sent for post-mortem and they are probing all angles.

They have registered a murder case under section 302 of the Indian Penal Code at Rani Bagh police station after they found his mother dead at the flat.

Stanley did his graduation from St Stephen's College and his masters from Hyderabad Central University. He was pursuing Phd from IIT-Delhi and had joined as an ad hoc professor at St Stephen's College over a year ago where he taught Philosophy, a close friend said.

The mother-son duo were in depression because of an abetment-to-suicide case pending against them in Kerala, and both were on anticipatory bail. A few days ago, Stanley had shared about it with his friends who tried to convince him to not take any extreme step, a police officer said.

Stanley was living in Delhi for five years and his mother came to stay with him seven months ago.

Some of his friends said Stanley showed suicidal tendencies and five days ago told them that he had tried to force his mother to commit suicide but she had refused, according to police.

"We learnt about the tragic this morning. We are in shock. I interacted with him when we were speaking to teachers in the lead up to Delhi University Teachers' Association polls. We do not know what prompted him to take such a step," said professor Nandita Narain, Stanley's colleague at St Stephen's College.

A Delhi University professor requesting anonymity said, "Articles were published in regional media in Kerala comparing Stanley's case with the Kerala serial murders. Stanley and his mother were targeted by trolls and misogynistic comments were made against his mother."

The professor said the fact that they were pronounced guilty in public without even a legal trial may have led to this tragedy.

"We still don't know what they went through. But the media trial was responsible for this unfortunate incident," he added.

One of Stanley's friends shared a post on Facebook, criticising the regional media for a report published on October 15 and portraying Stanley's mother in a bad light, because of the abetment-to-suicide case, by apparently comparing her to the prime suspect in the Koodathai serial murder case.

"For the past six months, Alan and his mother were facing legal battles on property dispute and an investigation regarding the suicide of Alan's step-father. These cases had broken them down. However, since they were sure of their innocence, they decided to fight it legally and keep their trust in the judiciary. They sought legal advice and stood firmly for the truth.

"This public humiliation was unbearable for Alan and his mother. Alan, who used to talk to us, stopped communicating after October 15th. Our friends in Delhi reached out to him, only to see that he and his mother had lost all hope," he stated on his social media account.

Another friend stated that Stanley had shared about the case with him only recently.

"After Stanley's father passed away two years ago, her mother married again. Some seven months ago, her step-father committed suicide at his Kottayam house. Aunty was at her mother's place in Thodupuzha village in Idukki district while Stanley was in Delhi," the friend, who did not wish to be named, said.

"The relatives of step-father tried to cover up the death. But later, his mother got to know that it was a suicide and that her husband had left the property in their name. Learning this, the relatives filed a complaint against the mother-son duo," he added.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, October 20 2019. 21:55 IST
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