Sudeeksha Bhati, the woman who died, had topped Bulandshahr district two years ago
Bulandshahr, Uttar Pradesh:
A day after after a 20-year-old woman from Uttar Pradesh's Bulandshahr, who was studying at a prestigious university in the United States, died in a road accident in UP after alleged harassment, a First Information Report (FIR) was filed on Tuesday night amid widespread anger over the death. The FIR, however, does not make a mention of the alleged harassment the woman faced moments before her death; sources in the UP police said the FIR has been filed on the basis of the complaint filed by her father.
Sudeeksha Bhati, the woman who died, had topped Bulandshahr district two years ago in Class 12 CBSE board exams in the Humanities stream. She then went on to receive a full-time scholarship at the prestigious Babson College in Massachusetts. She had returned to India in June amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.
On Monday morning, the US scholar was chased by two men on a bike when she was on a separate motorcycle with her cousin and her uncle, according to the family. The two men can be seen in a CCTV footage, which is being investigated by the police. However, the police on Tuesday said they could find no proof of harassment.
In his complaint, Brahma Singh Bhati, Sudeeksha's father, wrote: "My daughter was very talented. I am completely shattered. I appeal to you that strictest punishment should be taken against those two men."
Recalling the incident, he told police in the complaint: "Yesterday (Monday - August 10, 2020), my daughter -Sudeeksha Bhati, my brother Satendra Bhati and nephew Nigam Bhati left their home at 8 AM to meet a relative on a bike. At about 9:30 AM, when they neared the Aurangabad area, two men a black (Royal Enfield) Bullet motorycle overtook them twice and then suddenly stopped the bike intentionally. My brother also had to use brakes, which made him lose the balance and my daughter - Sudeekhsha - fell and suffered serious head injuries. She was declared brought dead at the hospital."
The FIR has been filed under two Sections of the IPC (Indian Penal Code) - Section 279 ( Rash driving or riding on a public way) and Section 304-A (Causing death by negligence).
Contradicting the family's claims, Ravindra Kumar, the district magistrate, on Tuesday told the reporters: "The motorcycle was being driven by her brother, a minor, and not Sudeeksha's uncle. So far, there is no evidence of harassment."
Sudeeksha's journey from a village in Uttar Pradesh to a prestigious American university was one of grit and determination. She was one of the few girls in her village who had gone to a school.
A student of Vidya Gyan School, an initiative of the Shiv Nadar Foundation, Sudeeksha had scored 98 per cent in Class 12 CBSE board exams.
Many on social media have sought justice in the case. In a tweet, former UP chief minister and BSP chief Mayawati on Tuesday said: "In Bulandshahr, a promising student - Sudeeksha Bhati - who was travelling on a bike with her uncle lost her life due to misdeeds of bikers. This is highly tragic, shameful and condemnable. How will daughters progress? BSP demands the state should take swift action against the accused."