Home / India News / Harassment charges left out of FIR in UP scholar’s death case
Two days after 19-year-old Sudeeksha Bhati was killed in an accident, the Bulandshahr police on Wednesday registered an FIR against two unknown persons for rash driving and death due to negligence, but did not include harassment in the list of charges though her family alleged that she was being followed by two people on a motorcycle at the time of the accident.
The death of Bhati, a tea seller’s daughter who shot into limelight in 2018 by scoring 98% in her Class 12 board examinations and was pursuing a graduate degree in the prestigious Babson College in the United States, has sparked outrage in the county, and senior leaders across parties have criticised it as another example of the poor law-and-order situation in Uttar Pradesh.
“The Bulandshahr police have been taking the case lightly. They have not registered the case under relevant sections of harassment. We are very pained over the death of our beloved daughter. The local police and administration are turning this murder and harassment to accidental death. We will harm ourselves if the justice is not delivered,” Sudeeksha’s father Jitendra Bhati said.
In his complaint, Jitendra Bhati wrote that, on August 10, Sudeeksha left her home in Dadri with her uncle Satyendra and cousin for Bulandshahr at around 8am.
“When they reached Chirora village, Syana Road in Bulandshahr, two persons riding a black Royal Enfield motorcycle overtook Sudeeksha’s motorcycle twice, and suddenly and deliberately applied brakes. My brother Satyendra lost balance of his motorcycle and hit another motorcycle. Sudeeksha fell on the road and was critically injured in the head. She was sent to a hospital where doctors declared her dead. My daughter was a bright student and she studied in US. I urge you to take strict action against the accused and deliver justice,” he wrote in the complaint in Hindi, on the basis of which the FIR was filed.
A case was registered under Sections 279 (rash driving), 304 A (death due to negligence), and three other sections of the Motor Vehicle Act.
The senior superintendent of police (SSP), Bulandshahr, Santosh Kumar Singh on Wednesday said Circle Officer Diksha Singh will lead the special team of two inspectors and a station house officer (SHO) that will investigate the case. “We don’t have the complete registration number of the motorcycle. We are trying to scan all Royal Enfield motorcycles in the area with available portion of the number. We are seeking help of the regional transport office,” he said.
The SSP said that the accident took place at 8:50am.
“We have found an eyewitness Hemant Sharma who told the police that the Bullet-borne youths applied emergency brake to protect themselves from a milk tanker coming from the opposite side. Sudeeksha’s brother, who was driving the motorbike, lost control over and the vehicle into the Bullet motorcycle ahead,” he said.
The police contended that the victim’s cousin, in his initial statement, did not talk about harassment.
The SSP refuted the family’s claim that Sudeeksha’s uncle Satyendra was driving the bike. “We analysed Satyendra’s mobile number and found that he was in Dadri area at 9.17am while the accident took place at 8.50am. Two hours later, at 10.49am, he reached Bulandshahr, and we have his route map,” he said, adding that the investigation so far does not lead to a harassment case.
Satyendra Bhati on Tuesday detailed the alleged harassment. “Two persons on a Royal Enfield bike tried to overtake us multiple times. I applied brakes and slowed down my bike. But they continued doing stunts on the road. They suddenly came in front of us and applied brakes immediately. Our bike collided against the Enfield...I fell on one side. Sudeeksha fell on her back, received critical injuries on her head and died,” he said.
Sudeeksha, who topped Bulandshahr district in the humanities stream two years ago and won a Rs 3.8-crore scholarship, returned from the US in June in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. On August 20, she was set to return to Massachusetts, where she was pursuing a graduation course in entrepreneurship at Babson College.
Local political leaders, who flocked to Bhati’s house in solidarity, demanded the criminal’s arrests and asked for Rs 1 crore compensation to the victim’s family, and an academic institution to be opened in the name of Sudeeksha.
Atul Pradhan of the Samajwadi Party (SP) said he does not believe the SIT probe will be fair. “The top officials in Bulandshahr police have already said this is not a case of harassment. How will a DSP rank official heading SIT go against their boss. We demand a judicial probe into the matter,” Pradhan said.