L Nitin Kumar Reddy, a native of Chittoor district in Andhra Pradesh, enrolled himself for a dual degree in mechanical engineering at the Institute in 2007, Assistant Commissioner of Police (Guindy) S Senthil Kumaran told Express.
Nitin was scheduled to pass out in May 2011, but was given an extension of six months because of arrears.
Nitin was suffering from depression due to the extension, the officer said.
Around 2 pm, a hostel student Pawan received a call from Nitin's friend in Andhra Pradesh, asking him to check the victim’s room (No. 463) on the third floor at Jamuna Hostel on the IIT campus.
On forcibly opening the door, Pawan found that Nitin had hanged himself from the ceiling fan, the ACP said.
On information, the Velachery police recovered the student's body and sent it to the Government Royapettah Hospital for autopsy.
Before his death, Nitin sent an email to his father Lakshman Murthy Reddy, who is director of the Defence Research and Development Organisation wing in New Delhi. His mother Shylaja was an Andhra Pradesh government employee, the official said.
Nitin left a Facebook message for his friends, saying "I fought hard and lost."
IIT Dean (students) Govardhan told Express that Nitin had a history of depression. "According to the feedback I received, Nitin was someone who was either happy or highly-depressed when he faced setbacks. He had a medical history of the same," Govardhan said.
Police are questioning the faculty and staff.