Telangana medico’s death raises several questions which are unanswered yet. The suspicion on the incident makes everybody angry and boiling and the authorities are unable to answet anything.

Who will be held accountable for the young doctor’s passing, even if the police insist that they acted immediately after learning about the harassment and that the medical college administration responded to the complaint?

According to Dharavath Narender, the father of Dr. Preethi Dharavath, who committed suicide at Kakatiya Medical College (KMC), Warangal after allegedly being harassed by a senior, “it is a murder and not suicide.” After conducting his daughter’s death rituals at Girni Thanda in Telangana’s Jangaon district, Narender was on his way back. When she was on duty at the MGM Hospital in Warangal on the intervening night of February 21 and 22, he insisted that the police look into what happened. Five days after she made an attempt at suicide, Preethi, a first-year postgraduate student in the Department of Anaesthesia at KMC, died in a hospital in Hyderabad. She had allegedly been harassed by her senior Dr. MA Saif. According to Narender, his daughter was murdered, and appealed to the police to investigate the possibility of murder.

Narender, an assistant sub-inspector in the Railway Protection Force, said that his daughter would never end her life. He also demanded that a probe by a sitting judge be conducted only after suspending the head of the Anesthesia Department (HOD) at KMC. However, the police say that as soon as the college management was informed about the harassment meted out to Preethi, they called both Saif and Preethi and spoke to them. The principal of the college too spoke to Saif and let him off with a warning. “The management acted upon the complaint and cannot be blamed for inaction at this point. In the course of investigation, if we find out that they were aware about the harassment and still did not act upon it, we will take appropriate action against them,” said the Warangal Commissioner.

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In voice recordings that have now gone viral, Preethi can be heard telling her mother that the HOD asked her why she had taken the matter to the principal. Preethi’s worried mother also offered to speak to Saif to find out why he was harassing her. Preethi can also be heard saying she wasn’t the only one being harassed by Saif, “He is harassing everyone. No one is speaking up against him.”

Preethi’s sister Puja, overcome with grief, demanded that the guilty be hanged. “He should be hanged to ensure that no other girl has to face this,” she said, speaking to the media after the funeral. Leaders of some political parties, student groups, and tribal organisations attended the funeral. Madiga Reservation Porata Samithi (MRPS) leader Manda Krishna Madiga was among those present.

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Puja said that the family never thought the matter would take such a serious turn, as senior students troubling juniors is common in colleges. Her sister, she said, had it in her nature to question the wrong and she was not like others who compromise after seniors trouble them. “I told her if you can’t bear this, just slap him and come home. Don’t get stressed. Nothing will happen. We will take care,” said Puja, a software engineer.

Preethi was the youngest of three sisters. After completing MBBS from Kamineni Medical College in Nalgonda, Preethi had secured a postgraduate seat at KMC and her classes had started in November 2022. Puja said they were proud of what Preethi had achieved as no one in their extended family had become a doctor. She said their parents sold all their property to give them a good education.

Warangal police, on February 24, arrested Preethi’s senior Saif, a second year student in the Department of Anaesthesia. Police said that targeted harassment of Preethi by her senior could have driven her to attempt suicide. Saif has been booked for abetment to suicide. He was also booked under the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and the Prohibition of Ragging Act. The Warangal Commissioner said that insulting behaviour also comes under ragging. According to police, Saif had made insulting comments about Preethi in a WhatsApp group.

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While many believe that Preethi had used all her available options before she attempted to kill herself, the police maintain that no written complaint was submitted by Preethi, neither to the police, nor to the college management. Preethi had informed her parents about the harassment and also spoken to her friends about the same. It was her father who had spoken to the police, who in turn had asked the management to look into the incident and take necessary action.

Although the management warned Saif and called him back, the question is whether or not taking greater action would have prevented Preethi from taking her own life. Did Preethi feel her harasser wasn’t caught up to speed with the law? The most pressing of all the unanswered concerns is who will be held accountable for the passing of the young, talented medic. #hydnews #hydkhabar #hydlive