Preethi, the first-year postgraduate junior doctor of the Kakatiya Medical College, who allegedly tried to die by suicide at the state-run Mahatma Gandhi Memorial (MGM) Hospital in the Warangal district of Telangana, breathed her last in Hyderabad on Sunday, 26 February.
Despite continuous efforts by a multidisciplinary team of specialist doctors, she could not be saved and was declared dead at 9.10 pm on Sunday, said the superintendent of NIMS Hospital in a bulletin.
Death of Warangal doctor Preethi by suicide ‘most painful’
Dr Preethi attempted suicide on Wednesday allegedly after being harassed by one of her seniors, a male doctor at the Kakatiya Medical College in Warangal.
She was found unconscious by the staff and doctors and given initial treatment there, they said.
Telangana Health Minister Harish Rao in a statement said that Dr Preeti’s last breath while fighting death was the most painful.
The NIMS medical team worked tirelessly to save her, he said.
“We thought that Dr Preethi would come back completely healthy, and but she went to the world of no return,” said Rao.
He also said he was deeply disturbed by the incident. “My deepest condolences to the family members. The state government stands by the victim’s family,” said Harish Rao in a statement.
A case of bullying at Kakatiya that could have led to suicide
Warangal Commissioner of Police (CP) AV Ranganath told reporters that there was apparently a targeted harassment of Preethi by the senior at Kakatiya, Dr SA Saif, which could have driven her to attempt suicide.
Hours after arresting 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,” said Ranganath.
The police have retrieved the data from the WhatsApp groups of first and second-year MD students of anaesthesia.
After Saif made a remark in the group about a case sheet on 18 February, Preethi sent him a personal message objecting to it. She reportedly told other students that 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 as 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.