On Saturday, Alan Stanley, a guest professor at St Stephen’s College in New Delhi, could not be reached on his phone. Worried, a friend went to Alan’s apartment in northwest Delhi’s Pitampura, only to find his mother, Lissy, dead. He alerted the police and traced Alan’s location, somewhere near Sarai Rohilla railway station in Delhi. Alan was found on the railway track, in a decapitated state, an official at the office of the Deputy Commissioner of Police - Outer District told TNM.
Alan and Lissy were from Kottayam. 27-year-old Alan, who graduated from St Stephen’s College, was teaching philosophy at the same college. He was also pursuing PhD at IIT-Delhi. According to the DCP (Outer)’s office, the mother had moved to Delhi about four months ago.
A four-page note in Malayalam was also found near Alan’s body, and Lissy was found with a cloth stuffed into her mouth. According to reports, a knife was also found near her body. The police suspect that Alan killed his mother and then killed himself. The Rani Bagh police have registered a case under section 302 (punishment for murder) of the Indian Penal Code.
However, Alan's friends have disputed the theory and allege that the duo died of suicide and even Alan's mother had written a suicide note.
The suicide note mentioned an abetment-to-suicide case against the two in Kerala, and according to friends and families of Alan and Lissy, the two were upset over the investigation against them.
In December 2018, Lissy’s second husband John Wilson, a Gulf returnee, was found dead at his residence in Kerala. Soon after his death, John’s son from his first marriage had approached the Kerala High Court and filed a civil case against Lissy. The son alleged that Lissy was responsible for John’s death and also accused her of transferring John’s property and money to her name. The Crime Branch was investigating the case involving the mother and son when the incident took place in Delhi.
According to a Crime Branch official in Idukki, Lissy and Alan had moved the Kerala HC to quash the FIR registered against her. However, the HC declined the request. “We had called her as part of the probe, but the questioning had not started,” the official told TNM.
'Alan was upset': Friends
Rajiv Gerald Pereira, who is close to the family, wrote on Facebook, “For the past six months, Alan and his mother were facing legal battles on property dispute and an investigation regarding the suicide of Alan’s step-father. These cases had broken them down. However, since they were sure of their innocence, they decided to fight it legally and keep their trust in the judiciary. They sought legal advice and stood firmly for the truth.” The police have not confirmed John Wilson's cause of death.
Alan’s friends also alleged that a media trial equating the inquiry against Lissy to the sensational Koodathayi case, where alleged serial killer Jolly Amma Joseph is accused of killing six members of her family, had devastated the duo.
"This public humiliation was unbearable for Alan and his mother. Alan, who used to talk to us, stopped communicating after October 15 (the day when one report on the investigation was published),” Rajiv said.
Another friend of Alan wrote on Facebook that Alan was contemplating suicide. “Alan Stanley had to overcome great odds in his life. And he was always upfront about them, always ending our conversations with the hope that it would all get better, some day. And sometime in the past few days, he decided he was going to take his life, without waiting for that day that we always hoped would come (sic)” the friend wrote.
The official at the DCP - Outer’s office said Alan’s elder brother had reached Delhi. The bodies of Lissy and Alan have been taken to two separate hospitals for post-mortem.
If you or anyone you know is feeling depressed or suicidal, consider reaching out to one of the following helplines:
Maithri helpline - 0484-2540530
Chaithram helpline: 0484-2361161
Both are 24-hour helpline numbers.
State health department suicide helpline number - 104
Sneha Suicide Prevention Centre - 044-24640050
Telangana government suicide prevention toll-free number - 104
Roshni- 040-66202000, 66202001
SEVA- 09441778290, 040 - 27504682 (between 9 AM and 7 PM)
Sahai : 24-hour helpline numbers: 080- 65000111, 080-65000222
Life Suicide Prevention Helpline No.78930-78930
Roshni - Helpline 1: 9166202000 Helpline 2: 9127848584