Stalked and harassed, Rohtak teens end lives, and American dream

Nikita’s father Sukhbir Singh said he had gone looking for Lokesh once after his daughter complained to her mother.

Written by Ananya Bhardwaj | Rohtak | Published:August 27, 2014 2:39 am
teens_m Nikita Duhan (R) and her friend Madhu (L) ended their lives after allegedly poisoning themselves.

One scored 97 per cent in her Class X exams and was hoping to make it to a good college in Gurgaon, the other checked her bangle box regularly to see if she had saved enough money to buy her sister a T-shirt. Both shared a dream: a life in America, a world removed from Rohtak.

On Monday, the two dreams died.

Stalked and harassed by a group of young men who followed them to their coaching institute and back, Nikita Duhan (17) and her friend Madhu (16) ended their lives after allegedly poisoning themselves.

In notes they left behind, the girls said they were so troubled that they could not concentrate on studies and were scared they would not be able to perform and make it to the United States.

Police said the two girls laced mango drinks with what appeared to be toxic chemicals and downed them in one go while they were at the institute. Suspecting food poisoning, the institute staff rushed them to PGI Rohtak, only to be told that they should alert the parents and police since this appeared to be a case of suicide.

The two girls died barely 10 minutes after their parents reached the hospital. “Madhu died in my arms,” her uncle Ombir said.

In their suicide notes — one runs into six pages, the other is four-page long —  the girls speak of fear and shame, of disrepute, of tongues wagging simply because young men had been following and harassing them.

“Everyday a new man would come and chase us. They would pass lewd remarks and offer us phone numbers.
The people around us would stare as if we had done something wrong. You know how bad our colony is… how people will say we encouraged these men to follow us… even though we are innocent,” Madhu wrote.

She mentioned the name of one of her tormentors, even the registration number of his motorcycle.

“In her note, she mentioned one Lokesh. We traced him. He has been taken on remand for two days after his arrest. We will question him to get to his associates,” police said.

Nikita’s father Sukhbir Singh said he had gone looking for Lokesh once after his daughter complained to her mother. He said he couldn’t find Lokesh. He did not bring the matter to the notice of police.

In her note, Nikita said: “Maine kuchh galat nahin kiya hai jiski wajah se mere parivar ko sharminda hona pade. Mein mar rahi hoon kyunki mein yeh roz-roz ki tension nahin le sakti (I have not done anything wrong to bring shame to my family. I am ending my life because I cannot take this daily tension).” Urging police to crack down on men who harass women, she said more women will go their way if action is not taken.

She speaks of saving for a T-shirt to gift her younger sister. “I had planned to buy a T-shirt for Chhoti… for which I have saved Rs 200. I have kept that money in a bangle box in the first drawer.

Please buy her the T-shirt she likes. I know she will look very smart… I am also leaving my wrist watch for Bhai. Please ask him to wear it each time he goes for an exam or interview. It will bring him good luck… I am sorry I could not fulfill your dream of making it big in life and going to America. I have no option left except die. I love you,” she wrote to her family.

Madhu’s note is somewhat similar. She too speaks of the dread of bringing shame to the family, of not getting admission in a Gurgaon institute and of not being able to go to America.

“The boys used to stalk us, follow us till our homes. I do not want my family humiliated. My sister will now fulfill your dream of going to America and she will soon call all of you,” she wrote, asking her mother not to throw away her belongings, clothes, books, school bag, footwear. “I shall return in some form… we will meet if god wills.”

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  1. D
    Dhurandar Bhatawdekar
    Apr 9, 2015 at 8:39 pm
    epidemic
    Reply
  2. C
    Communal Rukstales
    Aug 28, 2014 at 4:34 pm
    "Avoid traveling/living/studying/working in India" --Nancy Powell, US ambador to India.
    Reply
  3. A
    Aizen
    Aug 27, 2014 at 3:35 pm
    this is stupid. They should have complained to the police
    Reply
  4. C
    Collage
    Aug 27, 2014 at 5:27 pm
    I am a 58 years old woman. I was tortured in college with verbal aggression ,foul language...chased ...hared daily...everyday I felt I wish I was dead...thank God I had very supportive and understanding family who kept telling me...kutta bhonkta rahe, hathi badhata rahe.....it got me through the most painful 5 years of medical college....It's a shame that parents teach sons different values than girls....Boys in India are...holier than thou...
    Reply
  5. B
    batra
    Aug 27, 2014 at 9:15 am
    This should be on the PM's table and action is needed with utmost urgency.
    Reply
  6. A
    AC
    Aug 27, 2014 at 6:16 am
    You have the power to influence those around you - friends, family, colleagues, neighbours to become more sensitive towards these issues. Especially, one needs to guide the younger generation - teenagers, young adults, children. We must all do our bit very sincerely, least we can do for our society. This was really sad incident.
    Reply
  7. B
    B.D.SINGH
    Aug 27, 2014 at 8:05 am
    It seems we are living in a big jungle where no law and order prevails.
    Reply
  8. S
    Shambhu
    Aug 27, 2014 at 12:43 am
    This is not death of 2 girls but death of a society in the w. i am reading this with tears welling in my eyes, sitting here in my Brisbane office in Australia. Jaao mere behno...tera yeh bhai tumhare liye aansoo baha raha hai...find peace by Krishna's side. you are now with your supreme brother under whose protection no one can harm you.....
    Reply
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