New Delhi: Friends and colleagues of DU professor Alan Stanley, who allegedly committed suicide, on Monday blamed "malicious" a news report published against Stanley and his mother for the tragedy.
The decapitated body of Stanley, who was an ad-hoc professor in Delhi University's (DU) St Stephen's College, was found on the railway tracks at Sarai Rohilla here on Saturday and his mother Lissy was found hanging from a ceiling fan, with her mouth stuffed with a piece of cloth, in their Pitampura flat.
According to a friend of Stanley, who requested anonymity, "He had faced a lot of hardship. He lost his father when he was in the final year of college. Later, he ensured that his mother remarry, despite facing opposition from his elder brother, who drifted away from them."
The mother-son duo was in depression because of an abetment-to-suicide case pending against them in Kerala and both were on anticipatory bail.
Stanley's friends accused the regional media in Kerala for a news report published on October 15, portraying his mother in bad light by apparently comparing her to the prime suspect in the Koodathai serial murder case.
One of the professor's friends recalled him as a person who was never greedy for money.
"He valued human relationships more than money. On top of that, he was earning quite well from his teaching job at St Stephen's. I remember the board inside his room in IIT's Shivalik hostel, which had the details of who all he owed money to and who all had borrowed money from him," he said.
He also recalled Stanley as a "religious person" who would go to the Hauz Khas church every evening.
The crime branch of Kerala Police is probing the abetment-to-suicide case registered against Stanley and his mother in Idukki district of the southern state. The case was registered on September 17, TA Antony, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), District Crime Branch, Idukki, said.
The case was lodged by the son of Stanley's stepfather.
"He had alleged that Lissy forced her husband to transfer some of his cash to her account. Most of his liquid funds were transferred to her account. The stepfather became depressed and even consulted a psychiatrist," the DSP said.
The psychiatrist advised treatment and care for Lissy's husband Wilson, but she allegedly demanded a flat from him, forcing him to take his life, the officer added.
Wilson committed suicide by hanging himself.
"At that time, the police had investigated the case as one of unnatural death. Later, Wilson's family levelled allegations against Lissy, saying she had driven him to commit suicide. There are allegations that a total amount of Rs 70 lakh was transferred to her account and that she is a nominee to her husband's deposits of Rs 2.25 crore," the DSP said.
A case was registered under sections 305 (abetment of suicide of child or insane person) and 380 (theft in dwelling house, etc.) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) against the mother-son duo, he added.
Principal of St Stephen's College John Varghese said the college will hold a condolence meeting for Stanley.
A colleague of Stanley recalled him as a professor with whom students could connect since he was only a few years senior to them.