Warangal CP AV Ranganath Press Meet Over Medico Preethi Suicide Attempt Incident
Dharavathi Preethi, a first year post-graduate medical student in the Anaesthesia department of Kakatiya Medical College (KMC) in Warangal, Telangana, is fighting for her life at Nizam's Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS) in Hyderabad after a suspected suicide attempt. Police have arrested her senior, S. A. Saif, and charged him under the Scheduled Castes Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and Anti-Ragging Act, as well as for her attempted suicide.
Warangal Police Commissioner A.V. Ranganath has said that Saif subjected Preethi to targeted harassment and made insulting remarks about her in a WhatsApp group, which is classified as ragging under the Anti-Ragging Act. On February 18, Saif made a derogatory comment about a case sheet in the WhatsApp group, prompting Preethi to message him personally to object. She then told other students that Saif had insulted her by saying "you don't have brains." Ranganath suspects that Saif did not like Preethi questioning him, given the hierarchical culture of the medical college where junior students must address their seniors as "sir."
Preethi complained to her father about the harassment on February 20, and he subsequently reported it to the police. The department head spoke to Saif and Preethi separately on February 21, but Saif denied the harassment. Doctors and heads of departments have informed the police that Preethi had some health issues, including thyroid problems, and that her condition could be due to a cardiac arrest. However, police suspect that Preethi took an injection after they found two injections open in her anesthesia emergency kit, which contained Fentanyl, used for pain relief after surgery, and succinylcholine, used for muscular relaxation. A toxicology report is pending.