‘Sivia and dead professor were like brothers’

Devinder Sivia, lecturer at Oxford University and professor Steven Rawlings and were "like brothers", the Indian-origin academic`s father has said.

London: Devinder Sivia, mathematics lecturer at Oxford University who was held for the death of professor Steven Rawlings and later released, was "very, very good friends" with him and both were "like brothers", the Indian-origin academic`s father has said.

Eighty-year-old Gurbaksh Sivia said: "They were very, very good friends, inseparable friends. They were like brothers. My son is a good son and a dedicated teacher. He has very simple habits - he never drinks, he never smokes. It`s unimaginable."

"They`ve been friends ever since they studied at Cambridge University together. I`ve known him for 20 years. When my son was ill, Steven would bring flowers and food to his house to help out," the Daily Mail quoted Gurbaksh as saying.

Gurbaksh, a retired maths teacher from Gravesend, Kent, said his son had called him up Wednesday after he was held by police, and said: "`Dad, there`s been a tragedy and I`m in police custody under suspicion. It`s being investigated but I`m hoping it will be sorted out`."

The body of Steven Rawlings, a 50-year-old astrophysicist, was found at the home of Sivia in Oxfordshire Wednesday.
Gurbaksh said the entire family was shocked.

After learning about his son`s release, Sivia Senior said: "Although this is some ray of good news, it is still a tragedy as Steven is not with us anymore."