A family friend of Delhi University professor Alan Stanley reveals how media trial in professor Stanley’s home state led to his death.
On the 19th of October, this Saturday, the body of DU professor Alan Stanley was found on the railway tracks at Sarai Rohilla. The police also suspect the 27-year-old Ad-Hoc professor at St. Stephens for the murder of his mother. His mother was found on the same day in their apartment in Pitampura. Police stated that she was found hanging from a ceiling fan in the apartment. Her mouth was stuffed with cloth and her hands were tied, they added.
The duo was facing abetment to suicide charges in Kerala. The charges were filed over the death of the professor’s stepfather, Wilson. His stepfather had committed suicide in December and the charges against the mother and son were filed by Wilson’s family.
This case became a media trial, and the ensuing aftermath was one of the reasons for Alan’s suicide, according to a family friend. The New Indian Express quotes the friend, TD Thomas, who said: “Last Saturday, Alan and Lissy told me over the phone that they cannot withstand the media trial and requested me to file a case in the court seeking CBI enquiry into Wilson’s death.” Thomas states that he had even met an advocate and was arranging the same when he got the news of their death.
According to Thomas, the civil case being fought between Alan and Wilson’s family was over his property was supposed to reach a verdict on November 4th. However, according to Thomas, Alan and Lissy used to get threatened by Wilson’s family over settling the matter, otherwise, they would ruin Alan’s life.
A few days before his death, a news article had appeared in a regional media outlet in Kerala which against Alan Stanley and his mother regarding the case. Thomas says that Alan told him that he wanted to end his own life as he could live in a world where he was subject to a media trial every day. Thomas says “ He told me that he could not face his students and wanted to end his life as these allegations were coming out on print and social media.”
Feature image credits: DU Beat Archives.
Prabhanu Kumar Das