According to a student, the scholar, who belonged to the metallurgy department, locked herself up in her room in Sabarmati hostel two days ago.
A senior police officer told PTI that they got a call from the institute about the incident Tuesday evening, adding that "foul smell was emanating, indicating that the extreme step might not have been taken today."
An investigation is on, the officer said, declining to divulge further information.
IIT Madras has around 18 hostels in the campus.
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