Death of two teen girls in Telangana SC hostel: Kin suspect foulplay despite suicide note

The incident came to light days later only after 5 hostel staff members were booked by police and Opposition leaders, including K Kavitha, visited the families.

ByDeepika Pasham

Published Feb 08, 2024 | 11:47 AMUpdatedFeb 08, 2024 | 11:47 AM

Two Class 10 girls died by suicide in a government SC hostel. (Supplied)

In a tragic incident, two 15-year-old students died by suicide at a government-run residential hostel for members of the Scheduled Caste in the Bhuvanagiri district of Telangana on Saturday, 3 February.

Telangana Women and Child Welfare Minister Dansari Anasuya — better known as Seethakka — instructed the department to take prompt action on the management of the hostel to address the situation effectively.

Secretary of the WCW Department Vakati Karuna told South First that the department had sought a report regarding the incident. “We have asked for a report on the incident as minors are involved. We will get clarity once the report is submitted,” she said.

As Social Welfare (Scheduled Caste Development) Department Secretary N Sridhar was unavailable, his office staff informed South First that an investigation was being conducted into the suicide of the two students.

Bhuvanagiri District Collector Zendage Hanumant Kondiba has also sought a report on the incident.

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Opposition leaders visit families

While the parents of the girls were informed of their death on the night of 3 February, after the girls were pronounced dead on arrival at the government area hospital, the incident came to light only after five hostel staff members were booked by the Bhongir police and Opposition leaders in the state visited the families and questioned the investigation.

Bhongir MLA Kumbam Anil Kumar Reddy, along with MLC Kalvakuntla Kavitha, visited the families of the students. They assured the families of justice.

Following the visit, Kavitha posted on X and appealed to the state government to probe the incident and identify the culprits.

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What happened on 3 February?

Bhuvanagiri Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) M Rajesh Chandra told South First that the deceased students — who were in Class 10 — had their last conversation with their warden on 3 February.

The warden, one Shailaja, reportedly spoke to the students regarding a complaint against them.

“Some students of Class 7 had alleged that the two girls were in a relationship, and accused them of touching other girls inappropriately,” DCP Chandra said.

“Four girls — two from Class 7 and two from Class 10 — were counselled and sent back to their rooms,” the DCP added.

“The Class 10 girls reportedly left the counselling embarrassed that nobody believed that they were innocent. They did not go to the hostel mess to eat dinner but instead returned to the hostel and ended their lives. They also wrote a suicide note,” he said.

The hostel is located 2 km away from the residential school.

The question that the parents and relatives of the girls are raising is why they were not informed of the complaints against the students and of the counselling by the institution’s management.

An FIR was registered based on the complaint by the patents. According to the FIR, accessed by South First, the parents complained that they got a call from an auto driver informing them of the death of the girls.

The parents alleged in the FIR that the two girls had seen the auto driver visiting the hostel cook Sulochana frequently. They further alleged that the duo, fearing that the girls might tell others, must have killed them.

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Investigation details

The local police said, “All the suspects mentioned in the complaint have been booked under Section 174 of the CrPC. They are warden Shailaja, auto driver Anjaneyulu, cook Sulochana, PE teacher Pratibha, and tuition teacher Buvaneshwari.” Further, the warden has been suspended by the SC Welfare Department.

“The fact is that the parents were not informed about the complaints. Further, the CCTV cameras installed in the hostel were found to be non-functional so we were unable to check if the auto driver was abusive or if he visited the hostel frequently, as stated in the parents’ complaint,” noted DCP Chandra.

He added, “During the course of the investigation, we have spoken to other girls in the hostel who responded that they know what good and bad touch is. No girl has suggested that the auto driver is abusive. We found a suicide letter and according to experts, it is one of the girls’ handwriting. So far, it is looking like a suicide.”

Speaking to South First, an uncle of one of the girls, said, “I take care of her since her mother passed away years ago. The girls had known each other since Class 4. They mentioned in the suicide letter that they wanted their bodies to be cremated together but we could not do that.”

He added, “On 3 February, we spoke for an hour; she requested for some money. The auto driver and cook were the ones who would usually help us if we wanted to transfer money to our daughter. We have raised a complaint with the police on the management, the cook, and driver. We seek justice.”

The family of the other girl sought time to mourn their loss.

(If you need support or know someone who has suicidal thoughts, please reach out to your nearest mental health specialist or contact the helpline numbers of suicide prevention organisations that can offer emotional support to individuals and families. Tele-MANAS: 14416; Life Suicide Prevention: 7893078930; Roshni: 9166202000, 9127848584.)