Jadavpur University's pro-VC found hanging from the ceiling; police suspects suicide

Samantak Das, the 57-year-old Pro-Vice Chancellor and Comparative Literature professor at Jadavpur University, allegedly died by suicide on Wednesday afternoon

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Samantak Das, the 57-year-old Pro-Vice Chancellor and Comparative Literature professor at Jadavpur University, allegedly died by suicide on Wednesday afternoon (around 2:30 pm) in his Ranikuthi residence in South Kolkata.

While the police is suspecting suicide, no note or letter has been found yet, reported Hindustan Times. HT quoted Awadhesh Pathak, deputy commissioner of police of Kolkata Police’s south suburban division, as saying, “Preliminary investigations suggest he died by suicide. We have not recovered any suicide note. The exact reason behind the suicide is not known. We are investigating.”

According to PTI, Das had not gone to the JU campus on Wednesday morning and when a car was sent to pick him up, his family members found him hanging from the ceiling in his closed room when they broke the door. HT reported that according to police sources, the house-help was the first to see Das’ body as she broke open the bolted door of his room after calling out to him several times.

A state-run hospital “declared him brought dead”. PTI quoted a Regent Park Police Station officer as saying, “The body has been sent for post-mortem examination, and further investigation is underway.”


Das had joined the university’s Comparative Literature Department in 2005, headed it from 2007-2009 and had also headed the School of Cultural Texts and Records. In September this year, Das’ term as the pro-VC would also have ended.

The professors and students at JU mourned his death. VC Suranjan Das told PTI, “The Jadavpur University family today lost one of its most important functionaries who had been a prominent face of the varsity. When I became the JU vice-chancellor in 2015, Samantak Das was among the few people who had made me very comfortable and helped me get accustomed to life in this university. His death is a great loss and has created a void that cannot be filled.”

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