Hyderabad— A Dalit girl committed suicide by jumping off the fourth floor of her coaching academy in Hayathnagar, likely due to caste-based harassment by her hostel mates. The incident highlights the rampant problem of caste-based harassment that Dalit students face even before they reach higher education institutes. Penumala Vidya Priyanka, an 18-year-old NEET aspirant, shared her hostel room with her Davao International Medical Academy classmates.
In his complaint, to the Hayathnagar police station, Priyanka's father P. Prabhakar Rao, alleged that her roommates harassed her by mentioning her caste and provoked her to end her life by indulging in negative propaganda against her. According to media reports, Priyanka informed her father about the harassment, and he approached the academy management, but they neither responded well nor warned the students.
Prior to her suicide, Priyanka dialed her father but received no answer; later, her father was informed by the academy that she had jumped off the building. A case has been registered under Section 306 (abetment to suicide) and SC-ST (Prevention of Atrocities Act).
This is not the first time that a Dalit student has committed suicide due to harassment by hostel mates. For example, the suicide of Darshan Solanki at IIT Mumbai revealed that his father also alleged harassment by co-students. Notably, the SIT (Special Investigation Team) formed for the investigation of Solanki's suicide found an alleged suicide note that blamed one of his hostel mates for the fatal step taken by him.
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