Bihar is constantly becoming dangerous and frightening for women. Just a few months ago, we saw the Muzaffarpur Shelter Home Case, following which we saw how a woman was driven around naked. All this is happening in the reign of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and is seemingly not coming to a halt, with the suicide case of a nursing student, Khushbu Kumari, in the Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (IGIMS).
After this case gained momentum, the students have come out with many disclosures which are raising serious questions about the administration of IGIMS. Female students say that they are constantly tortured by the college authorities and disturbed by this, Khushbu committed suicide. The students believe that these are not suicides, but institutional killings.
Along the lines of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), in 1983, IGIMS was established in Bihar under the State Legislature Act and was one of the best health institutions in Bihar and Jharkhand. However, in the last several years, the premier institute has been the subject of discussion for other reasons. Last year, it was in the news for asking its female employees details regarding their virginity.
Students Subjected to Continuous Torture
A second-year student of IGIMS told NewsClick on condition of anonymity about how they are tortured on minor issues. Referring to an incident, she said that once her friend had used the staff toilet, following which she was subjected to a lot of abuse and insults from the staff in front of other staff members and college students.
She further told NewsClick, “There are many female students here who have got married and have children, but they live at home. Many of our teachers make horrible comments about this. They talk about our bodies and our families.”
Khushbu had failed her college's internal examination. Fellow students alleged that after this, the principal and other teachers made mentally disturbing comments on her which ultimately forced her to take her own life. The girls also alleged that the deceased’s phone was forcefully taken away by the authorities which also had an impact on her mental health.
Many girls believe that while they have become immune to this environment, it was probably new to Khushbu and she could not bear it, therefore, she committed suicide. “If anybody is responsible for this, then they are the principal, teachers and the administration, and they should be prosecuted for murder,” students told NewsClick.
An FIR has been lodged against five teachers including the principal in Shastri Nagar police station of Patna by Khushbu’s husband and the police is investigating the matter.
Three members of the health department have also been appointed to an inquiry committee, which had to submit the report on Monday. But so far nothing has come.
There is a great dissatisfaction among the deceased’s family members towards the investigation by the police. Missy Raj, Khushbu’s husband, who took part in the candle march on Friday said that his wife has been tortured and killed, and this case should be investigated by CBI. He also demanded that strict action should be taken against the guilty.
Speaking with NewsClick, state executive member of SFI (Students’ Federation of India), Nishant said, “The police is not working properly. If the arrest of Principal Anuj Dayal and CBI inquiry of the case does not start within 48 hours, then all medical colleges would be closed and students of entire Bihar would fight against this and take to the roads.”
Ram Pari Devi, National Vice President of All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA) who participated in the massive rally that took place in Patna on Monday, described Nitish's Bihar government as ‘anti-girl child’. She said that sexual and psychological abuse of students is happening in the educational institutions of Bihar continuously, and the government is doing nothing to stop it. Rather, the government is engaged in protecting the accused.
They have threatened to intensify their movement until and unless the case is handed to CBI so that a free and fair probe in conducted in the matter and justice is brought to the deceased’s family.
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