Targeted harassment could have driven Telangana medico to attempt suicide: Police

Police also invoked provisions of Scheduled Castes Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and Anti-Ragging Act against Saif.

Hyderabad: There was apparently targeted harassment of post-graduate medico Dharavathi Preethi by her senior S. A. Saif which could have driven her to attempt suicide, police in Telangana’s Warangal said on Friday.

Preethi, a first year post graduate (MD) student in the department of Anaesthesia of the Kakatiya Medical College (KMC) in Warangal is suspected to have attempted suicide by taking an injection.

She is battling for life at Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS) in Hyderabad.

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Hours after arresting Saif, Warangal Police Commissioner A.V. Ranganath told reporters that he has been booked for the girl’s attempted suicide. Police also invoked provisions of Scheduled Castes Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and Anti-Ragging Act against Saif.

The Police Commissioner defended the police action saying insulting behavior also comes under ragging.

“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 also retrieved the data from WhatsApp group of first and second year MD students of Anaesthesia. After Saif made a remark in the group about a case sheet on February 18, Preethi had sent him a personal message raising an objection for making remarks about her.

The girl had told other students that Saif had made the remark “you don’t have brains”. Stating that the medical college has bossism culture where junior students have to address their seniors as sir, the police official said Saif probably did not like the girl questioning him.

On February 20, Preethi complained to her father Narendra about the harassment. He took up the issue with the police and subsequently the head of the department spoke to Saif and Preethi separately on February 21. Saif denied harassing the girl but Preethi had a feeling that she was being harassed.

The girl was on duty at MGM Hospital on the night of February 21. The next morning, she was found unconscious by the hospital staff. She was admitted in the same hospital and after her condition deteriorated, she was shifted to the NIMS in Hyderabad.

Doctors and HODs told police that this could be due to cardiac arrest. They also informed the police that she had some health issues like thyroid.

However, police suspect that the girl took some injection. “We have not reached to any conclusion but going by the chats and what had happened, we are of the opinion that it could have been a probable attempt to suicide.”

Ranganath said in the anesthesia emergency kit given to Preethi, the seal of succinylcholine injection was found intact.

The injection is used for nervous and muscular relaxation. “Preethi had searched on Google what happens when a healthy person takes succinylcholine,” the Commissioner said.

Two injections in the kit were found open. Police suspect that she took Fentanyl. This injection is used to relieve severe pain during and after surgery. “We are waiting for a toxicology report,” the Police Commissioner said.

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