Chennai, Oct 12 (PTI) The founder and head of city-based Shankar IAS Academy, who helped scores of civil services aspirants to crack the prestigious exam, allegedly committed suicide here, police said Friday.

45-year old D Shankaran, hailed as a great motivator by thousands of students who underwent coaching under his academy, ended his life by hanging in his house late Thursday night, a police official said.

“He seems to have had family issues,” the official said.

Shankaran, survived by wife and two daughters, had set up the academy after his own failure to qualify in the exam and made it a successful venture helping many to enter the coveted civil services.

“We deeply regret to inform the sad demise of our pillar of strength Shankar Sir. He was more than a teacher, he was the institution himself…He will continue to live in all of us,” Shankar IAS Academy said on its portal.

Condoling the death, DMK chief M K Stalin said it was shocking and a huge loss to civil service aspirants from rural areas.

Shankaran had trained over a 1,000 aspirants to crack the civil services exam and proved that an IAS coaching centre could be successfully run in Chennai too, he tweeted.

Former state Director General of Police and AIADMK MLA R Nataraj said Shankaran’s death was sad and unfortunate.

Describing Shankaran as an enthusiastic self-made man, the former top police official said he knew the IAS coaching institute founder for over a decade.

“Though he could not succeed in civil services exam, he did not lose heart and started guiding other aspirants,” Nataraj told PTI.

Shankaran mentored his sister who qualified and it was his first victory and the “rest of his meteoric rise is history”, he said.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.