Muslim scholar and former member of Parliament Syed Shahabuddin's only son Pervez Shahabuddin, a professor of engineering at Columbia University, New York, who was found dead in a hotel there, was buried in New Delhi on Monday afternoon.
Dismissing media reports from the United States suggesting, through references to police authorities, that Pervez committed suicide, widow Sophia and other members of the family said there was no reason to believe this.
"There is certainly some foul play, which can be brought to light after thorough investigation is done and that's why we have requested the US State Department through the Indian Ambassador to look into the matter," said a relative who brought Pervez's body from New York.
"I think there should be no speculation about the cause of death unless the New York police completes its investigation. When the police handed over the body to us on Friday for taking it to New Delhi, it gave us a report in which it had only written 'pending investigation'. We are at a loss to understand how various theories about the cause of his death have come up," another close relative said.
"Pervez's personal life and career were successful. He had achieved a lot at the most prestigious institutions of the US. He was a brilliant scholar and highly respected teacher. He was happily married and a doting father. There was no reason why he should commit suicide," said his friends.
Pervez was reported to the police as missing on Wednesday evening, after he failed to reach his home in the New York suburbs. The next evening, he was found dead in a hotel in the vicinity of his house.
"He phoned me on his way from university to know whether I needed anything from the grocery. He said he would be home soon and asked me to keep dinner ready," said Pervez's widow. "How could such a person end his life a short while later?"
Meanwhile, a large number of people including political leaders and diplomats, besides friends and relatives, attended Pervez's funeral.