Death of AMU gay professor wrapped in mystery

Police, however, ruled out murder of 62-year-old Srinivas Ramchander Siras, a reader in Modern Indian Languages, a day after his body was found lying on the bed in his private apartment outside the university.

"Primarily it looks like a case of suicide or may be heart attack or something like that. It doesn't seem to be a case of murder," City Superintendent of Police Maan S Chuhan told reporters.He said no suicide note has been recovered, "but we have not yet thoroughly checked the room, which was bolted from inside and we broke open one of its two doors to enter it."

Meanwhile, Aligarh Muslim University Teacher's Association (AMUTA) demanded a high-level probe into the incident."In view of the sensitive nature of the entire episode, an inquiry should be conducted either by CBI or a  judicial officer," AMUTA Secretary Jamshed Siddique said.

Siras, who hailed from Maharashtra and taught Marathi, was placed under suspension by AMU Vice Chancellor P K Abdul Aziz on charges of homosexuality at his house inside the campus after a sting operation by a television channel which exposed him having sexual relations with a rickshaw puller.

Last week, the Allahabad High Court revoked the suspension and ordered his reinstatement after he filed an appeal against the university action."We are waiting for the post-mortem report to ascertain whether it was a case of suicide or natural death. But one thing is clear, he was subjected to severe harassment by the university authorities and was under intense mental pressure," Siddique told reporters.

"To suspend a professor without inquiry is unjustified and is another example of the high-handed behaviour of the vice chancellor," he alleged.However, AMU spokesperson Rahat Abrar denied the allegation of harassment. "The university had fully complied with the high court order pertaining to his suspension," Abrar said, adding Siras could not be handed over his reinstatement order as he was out of town.

While Abrar said the withdrawal of suspension order was issued on April 5, Chairman of the Modern Indian Languages Prof Sheikh Mastan said he had no such information till this morning.When Mastan was given a copy of the letter by the registrar shortly before noon, he refused to accept it in back date. AMUTA said the serving of the order was a "drama" to cover up the "lapses" by the university authorities

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