Hyderabad Police says betrayal by boyfriend reason for TSPSC aspirant’s suicide; family cites financial stress

Brother says woman was worried over financial burden and postponement of Group-2 exam; police claim they have 'physical evidence'.

ByAjay Tomar | Sumavarsha Kandula | Deepika Pasham

Published Oct 14, 2023 | 7:11 PMUpdatedOct 17, 2023 | 4:34 PM

Hyderabad police claims betrayal by boyfriend caused of TSPSC aspirant's suicide; brother cites financial burden and Group-2 exam as reason

The suicide of a 23-year-old government-job aspirant took a twist on Saturday, 14 October, with the Hyderabad police saying “love failure” forced the woman to take the extreme step.

The woman’s death sparked a mass protest on Friday night as hundreds of students spilled over to the street in Ashok Nagar, and held the BRS government responsible for the tragic incident. The woman, Marri Pravalika, was preparing for the Telangana State Public Service Commission (TSPSC) exams.

The woman from Warangal was found dead hanging from the ceiling of her hostel room in Hyderabad’s Ashok Nagar area on Friday late evening. The protesters claimed that she took the drastic step since the TSPSC postponed its Group-2 examination.

However, the police have been maintaining that Pravalika was dejected after her boyfriend, Shivaram Rathod, left her for another woman.

Police said Rathod was likely to booked under IPC Section 306 pertaining to abetment of suicide.

The police also said that an arrest may be made based on the physical evidence it has gathered — such as Pravalika’s phone, the suicide note, and CCTV footage of the two — once it comes back from the forensic science laboratory (FSL).

Refuting the police version, Pravalika’s brother told South First that she was worried about the increasing financial burden her coaching fee had been placing on her family.

Also read: Southern states average 2,900 student suicides every year

The police version

A senior police officer told South First that investigators had reached the conclusion about a failed relationship based on the “physical evidence” collected.

Chikkadpally ACP Yadagiri briefing the media

Chikkadpally ACP Yadagiri briefing the media. (Supplied)

“We checked the WhatsApp and other social media conversations of the woman with her boyfriend and others. It seems she was involved in an affair with a man hailing from Mahbubnagar district for several years now. They also went to watch a movie on the day of the incident (13 October) around 11 am. He (Rathod) promised to marry but later got engaged to another woman. She had shared her grief with other friends before committing suicide,” he said.

The officer added that investigators have “physical evidence” to substantiate that she was depressed due to “personal reasons”.

In a death note found in Pravalika’s room, she asked for her parents’ forgiveness. No specific motive was mentioned in the note.

“I humbly ask for your forgiveness, mother. I have always felt like a failure. I know that father and you have been concerned about me. Please don’t shed tears. Ensure your safety. I consider myself fortunate to be your daughter, and I hope to never bring shame to our family. I feel as though I’m letting all of you down, and I doubt anyone will find it in their hearts to forgive me for this. I am unable to be of any help to both of you. To Prani [addressing someone specific], please take care of our parents,” the suicide note said.

“The motive is clear from her WhatsApp chat,” the police officer said, adding a case has been registered under section 174 (police to probe suicide) of the CrPC.

Also read: Hyderabad schoolgirl jumps to death from high-rise building

The family’s version

The woman’s brother said she last contacted her family on Thursday, 12 October.

“She did not mention anything specific. She always wanted to clear the TSRSC Group exams right from the moment she started pursuing her degree from Geetanjali Degree College (Warangal). She had been preparing for the exams,” Pravalika’s brother Marri Raju told South First.

The woman had been preparing for the exams for the past four years. Initially, she studied from her home at Bikkajipally village in Duggondi before moving to Hyderabad seeking better coaching facilities.

The deceased, hailing from a Backward Community (BC-D), took accommodation at Brindavan Girls’ Hostel and enrolled herself at the nearby RC Reddy Coaching Centre. She moved to Hyderabad on 25 September, the police said.

Her brother denied the woman was having an affair.

“She never mentioned it at home. We can speak about it only if they (the police) provide any proof. She attempted the Group 1 exam twice, and the last time she said she wrote well. But the exams were cancelled. When she called home last, she was demoralised as the exams kept getting postponed. She was worried over the financial burden on the family,” Raju said.

“She was also worried that she had not learned any other skill to get a private job to sustain herself. We consoled her saying that she will get an opportunity to perform better,” he added.

Related: ‘Suicides by students from marginalised sections becoming common’

Grim situation at hostel

The hostel at Ashok Nagar X Road wore a deserted look when South First visited it on Saturday. Most hostelers have vacated their rooms.

“We are not letting anybody in as all are frightened over the incident. Most of them have left for their villages. The deceased had food last night and retired to her room while her roommates were still having dinner downstairs. The roommates found her hanging on returning, and they brought her down. She died within five minutes,” a hostel employee said.

Meanwhile, the police suspected that the woman had taken the extreme step between 7 and 8 pm on Friday. The body was shifted to the Gandhi Hospital in Secunderabad for a post-mortem examination.

The suicide led to mass protests in Ashok Nagar around 10.30 pm on Friday. Hundreds of students demanded justice and held the BRS government responsible for the unfortunate death.

The protesters blocked the road, causing disruptions to late-night traffic in Ashok Nagar and at RTC Crossroad. The police later used mild force to disperse them around 2 am.

Related: Students protest as 23-year-old woman dies by suicide in Hyderabad 

TSPSC examinations

In March this year, the TSPSC announced the cancellation of the Group-1 preliminary exam, which was held on 16 October, 2022. The cancellation was due to concerns over a question paper leak.

On 23 September, the Telangana High Court ordered the cancellation of the Group-1 preliminary examination due to the TSPSC’s failure in following due procedures in conducting the exam.

On 10 October, the TSPSC decided to postpone the recruitment examination for Group 2 posts.

The exam, originally scheduled for 2-3 November, has now been rescheduled to 6-7 January 2024. This postponement was necessitated due to the upcoming Telangana Assembly election on 30 November.

(An earlier version of this report wrongly said the boyfriend has already been booked for abetment of suicide.)