Three days after Warangal doctor’s suicide bid, Nizamabad MBBS student ends life in college hostel

Principal says exam stress might have forced Dasari Harsha to die by suicide; the police are still trying to find the motive.

ByAjay Tomar

Published Feb 25, 2023 | 8:59 PMUpdatedFeb 25, 2023 | 8:59 PM

Final year MBBS student ends life in Government Medical College, Nizamabad

A 23-year-old final-year MBBS student of the Government Medical College in Nizamabad allegedly died by suicide in his hostel room, the police said on Saturday, 25 February.

The latest incident comes three days after a junior doctor of Kakatiya Medical College in Warangal reportedly attempted suicide by administering some drug on Wednesday. Her condition is critical.

Incidentally, the Nizamabad suicide came to light on Saturday morning, a few hours before the Chief Justice of India, DY Chandrachud, expressed concern in Hyderabad over the number of students taking the extreme step.

Identifying the deceased student as Dasari Harsha, the police said he hailed from Jannaram Mandal in the Macherial district. His father has been working as a mason in Malaysia. His mother is a homemaker.

Related: Why are junior doctors stressed and dying by suicide?

Did exam stress kill Harsha?

Recalling the sequence of events, college Principal K Indhra told South First that the student was to appear for his third exam (General Surgery) on Saturday.

He studied along with his friends till 9:30 pm on Friday. The students later decided to study individually in their rooms, she said.

The principal said his friends forced open the door when Harsha did not respond to their calls to join them for breakfast and found him hanging from the ceiling fan. The students brought the body down before alerting the authorities.

Principal Indhra said Harsha was a bright student, who had passed the previous three academic years with first division. She speculated that stress over the final-year exams might have pushed Harsha to suicide.

“The course is vast in the final year. They have to appear for six subjects. So that may be the reason for him to take such a step,” she said.

Nizamabad Town-1 Police Circle Inspector Vijaybabu Dhanavat told South First that no death note was found.

“He committed suicide around midnight after a party with fellow students. The motive for the suicide is yet to be ascertained,” the officer said, adding that the body was handed over to his relatives after completing medico-legal procedures.

CJI worried about students’ suicides

Later in the day, Chief Justice DY Chandrachud expressed concern over instances of alleged suicides by students and said his heart goes out to the bereaved kin of the victims.

He said he was wondering where our institutions were going wrong, forcing students to end their lives.

Referring to the recent incident of the alleged suicide of a Dalit student in IIT Bombay, he said such incidents, involving victims from marginalised communities, were becoming common.

He was delivering the convocation address at The National Academy of Legal Studies and Research (NALSAR) in Hyderabad.

The Chief Justice also said judges in India have a crucial role in initiating dialogue with society inside and outside the courtrooms to push for social change.

The Kakatiya case

The latest incident comes three days after a postgraduate junior doctor of the Kakatiya Medical College allegedly attempted to die by suicide at the state-run Mahatma Gandhi Memorial (MGM) Hospital in the Warangal district.

The woman, who was on duty at the hospital, was found unconscious by the hospital staff and the doctors gave her initial treatment. It has been suspected that she had administered some drug. She was later shifted to the Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS) in Hyderabad.

The NIMS on Saturday, 25 February, morning termed the patient critical and on maximal support.

“Dr. Preethi is maintaining on ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation), ventilator, and dialysis (CRRT). Her vitals are being maintained with drugs and ECMO,” the hospital said in a statement.

A case of bullying

Warangal Commissioner of Police (CP) AV Ranganath told reporters that there was apparently a targeted ha. harassment of the woman by a senior, Dr SA Saif, which could have driven her to attempt suicide.

Hours after arresting Dr. Saif, the officer said he was booked for the woman’s attempted suicide. The police also invoked provisions of the Scheduled Castes Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and the Anti-Ragging Act against the accused.

“It is clear that there was targeted harassment of this girl by Saif. He was making remarks to insult her in a WhatsApp group,” he said.

The police have retrieved the data from the WhatsApp groups of first and second-year MD students of Anaesthesia.

After Dr. Saif had made a remark in the group about a case sheet on 18 February, the woman sent him a personal message, objecting to the remark about her. She reportedly told other students that Dr. Saif had said that “You don’t have brains.”

Stating that the medical college had a culture where junior students had to address their seniors as “sir”, the police official said Saif probably did not like the woman questioning him.

The suicide bid took a communal hue on Friday, 24 February, after Telangana BJP president Bandi Sanjay Kumar termed it a case of “Love Jihad”.

Several doctors’ associations decried Kumar’s statement and said politicians were trying to win brownie points before the year-end polls.