Body of JEE aspirant missing for 9 days found in Rajasthan's Kota, police suspect suicide

The body of the JEE aspirant, identified as Rachit Sondhya, a resident of Rajgarh district in Madhya Pradesh, SP Amrita Duhan told reporters.

The belongings of the boy were found at a distance of around 200 metres from the Garadiya Mahadev temple. (Image: freepik)The belongings of the boy were found at a distance of around 200 metres from the Garadiya Mahadev temple. (Image: freepik)

Press Trust of India | February 20, 2024 | 07:18 PM IST

NEW DELHI: The body a 16-year-old JEE aspirant, who left his hostel for a routine test on February 11 and went missing, was found on Monday night stuck between two trees on a rock in a forest area in Rajasthan's Kota, police said. The boy was last spotted in CCTV footage near the Garadiya Mahadev temple forest on February 11, they added. Police said it was a case of suicide, which takes the number of such incidents of students of various coaching centres taking the extreme step to four this year in Kota. Besides, two B.Tech students from different universities committed suicide earlier this month.

Kota is known for a number of coaching centres preparing students for competitive exams. Meanwhile, a 17-year-old Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) aspirant has been missing from a Kota hostel room for a week now and an intensive search operation is underway to trace him. The body of the JEE aspirant, identified as Rachit Sondhya (16), a resident of Rajgarh district in Madhya Pradesh, was found from the forest near the Garadiya Mahadev temple late on Monday evening, Superintendent of Police (Kota City) Amrita Duhan told reporters.

Sondhya was preparing for the IIT-JEE. The post-mortem examination was conducted on Monday night after obtaining the district collector's permission and the body handed over to the deceased's family members, the SP said. One more JEE aspirant, Piyush Kapasia (17), is still missing and specials teams have been formed to trace him, the officer added. It is a case of suspected suicide and police have lodged a case under section 174 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) for investigation, Circle Inspector at the Jawahar Nagar police station Vasudev Singh said.

Boy's belongings found

Sondhya left his hostel room in Mahaveer Nagar-1, located within the Jawahar Nagar police station limits, for a routine test at around 12 noon on February 11. He was last seen in CCTV footage hiring a taxi and reaching the Garadiya Mahadev temple forest. He was seen entering the forest. The bag, mobile phone, a power bank, the room keys and some other belongings of the boy were found at a distance of around 200 metres from the temple on February 12.

Around 60-70 police personnel, besides the members of the Kota Municipal Corporation squad and 40-50 family members of the deceased, eventually spotted the body stuck between two trees on a rock at a distance of around a kilometre and a half from the spot where the boy's belongings were found, police said. Kapasia, who hails from Bulandshahr in Uttar Pradesh, left his hostel room for a test on February 13.

He neither returned to his room nor responded to his parents' phone calls, following which his family members arrived in Kota and got a missing report lodged at the Jawahar Nagar police station. According to the family members, the 17-year-old boy has been preparing for the IIT-JEE in Kota for two years. He took the recent JEE-Mains exam and scored only 13 percentile. The boy was last seen in CCTV footage at the Kota railway station with a bag in his hand, police said.

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