BENGALURU: A 64-year-old retired head of the department and dean at Bangalore University, Prof N S Ashok Kumar, allegedly hanged himself at his residence in BTM Layout on Sunday. Although he wrote a suicide note, he did not blame anyone for his death. However, his former colleagues reportedly said he had nurtured the ambition of becoming a vice-chancellor.
On Saturday, the first vice-chancellors for four cluster universities were selected. The police are investigating the possible link of the suicide to these appointments, which are made for four years or till the appointee turns 67, whichever is earlier. This may have seemed a last chance for him to become a VC, driving him to take the extreme step, the police said.
The police are also probing details of him running into disciplinary action when he was the registrar (evaluation) at Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences a few years ago after he exposed an alleged copying scam. A senior police officer from Mico Layout police station said Prof Ashok Kumar, a resident of KAS Layout in BTM Layout, was found hanging by his wife Radhika at 6 am on Sunday.
Mico Layout police shifted the body for postmortem to St John’s Hospital. Prof Kumar lived with his wife and two sons. Prof Kumar’s family said that he had no family or health-related issues. Kumar retired two years ago after serving as head of the department of Mass Communication at Bangalore University’s Jnanabharathi Campus, before which he was Dean for the varsity’s electronic media department. The last rites were conducted at Wilson Garden crematorium and his eyes were donated to an eye bank as per his wish.
If you are having suicidal thoughts or are in emotional distress, help is available.
You can get in touch with the SAHAI helpline at 080-25497777 which is open from Monday to Saturday from 10 am to 10pm and 104 Arogya Sahayavani which is available 24/7.