On February 26, the post-graduate student at Kakatiya Medical College (KMC) Warangal, Dr Preethi Dharavath, died after battling 85 hours for her life at Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS). She was undergoing treatment at NIMS after she attempted suicide following harassment by her senior, Dr Mohammed Ali Saif, at KMC Warangal.
The NIMS Medical Superintendent, Dr Satyanarayana, released a statement “In continuation of health update of Dr Preethi, despite continuous efforts by Multidisciplinary team of Specialist Doctors, she could not be saved and declared Dead on 26/02/2023 at 09:10 pm.”
On February 22, Dr Preethi was found unresponsive in MGM Hospital’s staff room while on duty. She allegedly attempted suicide by injecting anaesthesia drugs due to Dr Mohammed Ali Saif’s continued harassment, allegedly forcing her to end her life.
On February 24, the Telangana Police arrested Dr Preethi’s senior and post-graduate student at Kakatiya Medical College (KMC) Warangal, Dr Mohammed Ali Saif, on charges of ragging, abetment to suicide and harassment under Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and Anti-Ragging Act in connection to her suicide attempt. Warangal Police Commissioner AV Ranganath said that the accused and victim’s chats suggested that Dr Preethi was subjected to harassment.
Dr Preethi’s death has sparked protests outside the hospital. The protestors are reportedly demanding justice for
Dr Preethi, an ex-gratia to her family and Dr Mohammed Ali Saif’s encounter to send a message to all students ragging on juniors. A large contingent of police personnel has been deployed at the hospital to prevent adverse law and order situations.
Dr Preethi’s brother Vamshi Prudhvi demanded, “We want to know what has happened till now. The details of the treatment provided to my sister and also an assurance on the action against Saif.”
In an interview with a newspaper, he said, “When I met her a week before the alleged suicide attempt, she told me about the harassment from Saif and expressed the confidence that she would handle it alone,” claiming that his sister would never commit suicide, and this was a murder case.
He claimed, “That day, she was assisting in a surgery till 3 am. After that till the last call from her mobile at 8.30 am, what happened still remains a mystery. Immediately after she was found in an unconscious condition, her mobile was accessed using her fingerprint and the data was erased. Only after ensuring that all the evidence had been wiped out, she was killed and it is being projected as a suicide attempt.”
An audio clip of Dr Preethi’s conversation with her mother circulated over social media detailing how Dr
Mohammed Ali Saif, her senior at KMC Warangal, was harassing her. The police said they are investigating the audio clip’s authenticity.
Meanwhile, Telangana’s Panchayat Raj Minister Errabelli Dayakar Rao announced an ex-gratia of Rs. 10 lakhs for Dr Preethi’s family on behalf of the State government. He also claimed that the Government would investigate the incident and take strict action against those responsible for preventing such incidents from reoccurring.