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
    1. C
      Communal Rukstales
      Aug 28, 2014 at 4:34 pm
      "Avoid traveling/living/studying/working in India" --Nancy Powell, US ambador to India.
      Reply
      1. A
        Aizen
        Aug 27, 2014 at 3:35 pm
        this is stupid. They should have complained to the police
        Reply
        1. 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
          1. 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
            1. 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
              1. 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
                1. 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
                  1. C
                    Concerned citizen
                    Aug 27, 2014 at 7:39 am
                    An eye opener for advocates of human rights who make a hue and cry when stronger laws are demanded, as in the case of lowering age, for trying Juveniles as adults in ual offences cases. Unfortunately in Indian there is a loud cry for rights, but forget that rights come with responsibility and with specified limitations.These hooligans should be meted with severe punishment irrespective of their age in a manner that sets an strong deterrent.
                    Reply
                    1. R
                      Ram
                      Aug 28, 2014 at 10:40 am
                      India's problems stem from the fact that the country held to ransom by a bunch of rogues in the name of politicians, cannot and will not hire able and capable officers and public servants at all levels. India has to seek expatriate staff to tackle this dreadful situation. The female species of India are an endangered species, the few elite with money can have the freedom of expressing themselves in private, going overseas. Majority of women are doomed for disaster, pain and agony with the Indian men (majority again).British administration could keep these guys in check, call it slavery, sometimes, that is what work for some potion in the world. Think of giving freedom to the Arabs, they will kill each other. China with a potion of 1.4 billion, hardly has issues of this nature. Indian judiciary is a joke on civilization, again, run by the same goons and thugs.President's/PM's main job is the health and safety of the nation's citizens. Modi and his cronies would hardly ever speak of this deable crime. Let the Chinese run India for 10 years and see the change they can bring about. Indian concept of freedom is crime, corruption and rape.
                      Reply
                      1. R
                        Rohan
                        Aug 27, 2014 at 7:16 pm
                        One of the primary reasons for the suicide was the bad mouthing done by the people of the neighborhood about the poor girls. Had the people been supportive and protected the girls, this incident could have been stopped. I hope we all learn from this incident.
                        Reply
                        1. M
                          Moo
                          Aug 27, 2014 at 1:26 pm
                          Please do not call it a coward's manner, that is incredibly hurtful to their memory and their remaining family. They were clearly honourable, brave, innocents, you can see their character in the letters they wrote.. They would not have done such a drastic thing if they felt they had any other choice. They were forced to do this - I dare say that those poor girls felt that they could not worry their family and relatives further. The neighbours would have gossiped, that is what neighbours do, that was the issue here, the shame the girls felt. The Police? They did nothing. The social media? What could they do to stop this? Basically, it is not just the criminals that killed these angels. The rest of society failed them by standing by and watching.
                          Reply
                          1. M
                            Moo
                            Aug 27, 2014 at 1:21 pm
                            There is no where in the world that this evil does not reach. It is so depressing to consider it, but corruption and misogyny are everywhere, wherever you settle down. I am beginning to fear we will never see a change, that there's no hope.
                            Reply
                            1. S
                              SSM
                              Aug 27, 2014 at 5:51 am
                              This is heartbreaking :-( I wish these girls had been able to confide in their parents, teachers or policemen about the eve-teasing. Unfortunately our society is not at that point yet. For now, at least I hope the boys who tortured them are identified and severely punished to set an example to others.
                              Reply
                              1. D
                                Dsp Sodhi
                                Nov 18, 2014 at 1:11 am
                                shamless people dont have any selfrespect....... india now in a serious need to make cuts in this overly poted country............ just shame on yourself you s........... go to you dumbes ...... bhen de khasam ................ now go and disgrace your own mothers and sisters you in s
                                Reply
                                1. K
                                  Kolsat
                                  Aug 27, 2014 at 7:47 am
                                  What a tragedy two young lives full of promise lost forever. May they rest in peace and may thes talkers and harers suffer.
                                  Reply
                                  1. G
                                    Giridharan Velamore
                                    Aug 27, 2014 at 1:56 am
                                    So sad to read this news item. Just like rape is a ghastly crime against women, so too is stalking. The perpetrators have to be arrested, charged, prosecuted and punished severely. Their act has nipped in the bud, two beautiful souls
                                    Reply
                                    1. G
                                      Greg Savage
                                      Aug 27, 2014 at 6:47 am
                                      Deable. Our soceity should change the way it has in the West to allow more laude and freedom for young girls and at the same time give free rein to the law enforcement officials to punish the offenders in this dastardly act. My prayers go out for these two children and I hope God gives their parents the strength to bear this loss.
                                      Reply
                                      1. H
                                        Harihar Mani
                                        Aug 27, 2014 at 11:26 am
                                        I grew up in A.P.,by general rule ,eve teasing is much less,yet exist,I know,both my wife and a friend of mine in USA where so much harrased,both were married off at 18.Luckily both are USA in USa,but these poor girls only had dreams.this is a serious cultral problem,way to many useless kids running wild with harmones raging wild.It beats me,what happened to my wife when she was fallowed daily 46 years ago is worse now.God save Indian girls.H.Mani,USA
                                        Reply
                                        1. H
                                          HH
                                          Aug 28, 2014 at 4:46 pm
                                          Bollywood movies degrade women as second cl ual Bimbos. Banning the trash would be a good start. Most Indian men need reprogramming to learn proper behaviour towards women.
                                          Reply
                                          1. A
                                            adya
                                            Aug 27, 2014 at 9:50 am
                                            South.
                                            Reply
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