Medico commits suicide over sexual harassment

Medico commits suicide over sexual harassment

DH file photo

A postgraduate medical student of Sri Venkateswara Institute of Medical Sciences (SVIMS), Tirupati, committed suicide reportedly after sexual harassment by three professors.

The professors had allegedly failed her in final year examinations, the results of which were declared on Monday.

Dr B Shilpa, wife of Dr Rupesh Kumar Reddy, hanged herself from the ceiling with a nylon rope at her home in Pileru on Tuesday. The couple have a three-year-old son.

Fellow students organised a dharna on the campus and demanded action against three professors — Dr Ravi, Dr Siva Kumar and Dr Kiriti — who had allegedly sought sexual favours from the PG (Paediatrics) student.

The students said Dr Ravi had touched Shilpa inappropriately besides passing sexist comments. Shilpa was also upset over inaction of the state government on her complaint. Students said she had even disappeared for a while from her duties.

Finally, three months ago, she sent a written complaint to Governor E S L Narasimhan and state IT Minister Nara Lokesh. The governor directed the NTR University of Health Sciences, to which SVIMS is affiliated, to institute an enquiry. The varsity conducted a probe, but there has been no action on the report. 

“Instead of making the report public, the authorities leaked information that Shilpa was mentally ill,” her friends said.

"Shilpa was upset that justice was not done to her. I believe the humiliation led her to take the extreme step," husband Rupesh said. He also said there were no issues between them.

Principal Venkata Ramanaiah reiterated that Shilpa was "mentally unstable". He said the matter is not in his hands. “I will follow government instructions," he said.

Doctor suspended

Students of the institution had boycotted classes, demanding that the inquiry report be made public. The SVIMS authorities finally suspended Dr Ravi Kumar and instituted an inquiry into Shilpa's death. A report has to be submitted within two days.

Pileru sub-inspector Sudhakar Reddy said the reason behind the suicide is still being investigated.