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Investigation Sought in Indian Professors Death


Gay rights activists in India are demanding an impartial investigation into the death of a Aligarh Muslim University professor, who was suspended last month on charges of "gross misconduct" after being caught in a sex act with a rickshaw puller.

Dr. S R Siras (pictured) was found dead on Wednesday at his home in Aligarh, a city in the northern province of Uttar Pradesh, India, with "blood oozing out of his mouth," the Hindustan Times reported.

"We, as concerned citizens -- and for many of us, as gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered Indians ourselves -- express our shock, outrage and deep sadness at the loss of a teacher, a loyal member of the AMU community, a gay man, and a kind, gentle soul," a statement by a coalition of gay rights activists said.

"We demand that the police conduct a full, fair and impartial investigation into the cause of death. A step in the right direction has been taken by sending his body for a post-mortem examination. The results of this examination must be made public immediately," the statement said.

Dr. Siras was the chair of the Modern Indian Languages Department at the University and intended to retire in September.

"That Dr Siras had to undergo the trauma, fear, harassment and humiliation in his own beloved university in what would turn out to be his last weeks is condemnable," the statement said. "If these events and that trauma are in any way linked to his death, then all actors involved must be held culpable."

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