Caste harassment angle surfaces in Hubballi medical student’s suicide case

Omkar Baridabad was made scapegoat in infant missing case reported two years ago in Rohtak College, say his classmates.

Published: 16th June 2019 04:07 PM  |   Last Updated: 16th June 2019 04:19 PM   |  A+A-

medical student suicide

Omkar's mother breaks down at her residence in Hubballi on Friday after mortal remains of her son arrives. (Photo | D Hemanth, EPS)

Express News Service

HUBBALLI: In a shocking turn of events the caste angle has surfaced in the suicide case of Omkar Baridabad, (30), a resident of Hubballi and studying Rohtak Medical College in Haryana, who was found hanging in his hostel room on the night of June 13.

The medical PG students from Rohtak Medical College claimed that Omkar had expressed shock over the comments of his HoD Geeta Gathwala over his caste. She reportedly abused him when he requested her to sigh his thesis on the last date of submission. It's said the HoD had not signed his thesis for a long time and at the last moment once again spoke about he being reserved candidate.

Omkar Baridabad

This was not the first time, Omkar was subjected to harassment, said his friends. Rajesh B, fellow PG mate of Omkar. “Omkar was made a scapegoat in an infant missing case reported in the hospital two years ago. He was under pressure and embarrassment whenever the police came looking for him at the college. 

“The HoD and other doctors asked Omkar to take the blame of infant going missing from the ward on him and they will help him later to get out of the case. Believing them Omkar was agreed to be an accused in the case. But as the days went by, the police and family of infant started harassing Omkar. His repeated requested to the HoD and other heads in the college went unheard,” he said.    

Omkar’s friends claim that after falsely accusing him in infant missing case, the accused HoD Geeta kept on bringing pressure on him to quit the studies. After the HoD started stepping back from the infant case, the fellow PG students had staged protect in the medical college in Rohtak demanding justice for Omkar. These incidents may have made Geeta hold grudge against Omkar.

“Omkar was reserved candidate in the college and many times some seniors had pointed fingers on him. In last one month, he was constantly in touch with Payal Tadvi case of Mumbai and he shared many clippings about the story in students’ social media account,” said another friend of Omkar.

A month ago, Payal Tadvi, the medical student in Mumbai has taken the same step to end her life after harassment about her caste by her three senior doctors who are now behind the bards.

Hanged in suit purchased for his sister’s marriage 

Protests and demands of arresting Dr Geeta Gathwala followed soon after the students found Omkar hanging in his room. Omkar was found hanging wearing the new shervani purchased for the marriage of his sister. His hanged himself a day after his sister’s marriage. The gifts purchased for his sisters were lying next to dead body in the hostel room. It's said that minutes before he hanged he had met Geeta asking for her signature on his thesis. But she denied signing.

Protests in hostel

Soon after students came to know about the suicide they gathered in front of the residence of Dr Geeta and started shouting slogans demanding her arrest. The students were angry as they were witness to the constant harassment being met to their friend. 

The students claimed that Dr Geeta was planning to put the blame of infant missing entirely on Omkar. Upon learning this, he had arranged several meetings of students in this regard which had irritated the accused doctor who denied signing his thesis,” said a student from the collage. 

HoD booked  

Geeta Gathwala has been booked under section 306 of IPC and she was suspended by medical college authorities on Saturday. Protests and demands of arresting Dr Geeta Gathwala followed soon after the students found Omkar hanging in his room. 

Family of Omkar plans to meet Union Ministers

Omkar's family members are planning to seek help from BJP ministers to ensure punishment for the guilty. A family member told TNIE that they are planning to visit Union Ministers Pralhad Joshi and Suresh Angadi to ensure speedy justice for their son. “The family members lodged a formal complaint with the police in Hubballi. Already a complaint has been registered in Rohtak and names of those responsible for the crime have been given. Some of the relatives are in touch with Haryana police and students of the college to know about development in the investigation. It’s learnt that so far none from the college has been arrested by the police,” said a relative.

“It’s said the medical college is trying put blame on Omkar for committing suicide for not granting leave for his sister’s marriage. But it’s not true. He was under constant harassment from his seniors for the last two years. We know there was injustice to the boy and now the family is planning to seek help of ministers to ensure that there is punishment for those who were behind this,” said another relative.

A large number of relatives and well-wishers gathered at the residence of Omkar in Chetana Colony for his last rites. His mortal remains were taken to Keshwapur crematorium on Saturday evening for cremation.

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