A second-year student of Government Girls’ College in Sector 14, Gurgaon, who attempted to immolate herself on September 30 after an argument with the college principal over re-evaluation of answersheets, succumbed to injuries around 1.15 am on Sunday, two weeks after the incident.
Family members of 22-year-old BSc student Pinky Chauhan, who had been admitted to Safdarjung Hospital with 80 per cent burns, confirmed her death. Pinky, a resident of Kasan village near Manesar, Haryana, had named six college lecturers — including four women — in her statement, accusing them of forcing her to set herself on fire, a police officer said.
“A case under various sections of the IPC has been registered against the college management at Civil Lines police station. Further investigation is on,” Alok Mittal, Commissioner of Police, Gurgaon, said. However, a police source confirmed that in the FIR, the name of the principal, Usha Malik, who was transferred after the incident, has not been included.
According to a student, when news of Pinky’s death spread on Sunday morning, students living in the college hostel were asked to vacate the premises and not return before October 25. The student claimed that the move was aimed at avoiding agitation over the issue. Newly appointed principal Gianender Singh remained unavailable for comment despite repeated phone calls.
Meanwhile, the Department of Higher Education, Haryana, has decided to close the two other government colleges — Dronacharya Government PG College and Government PG College, Sector 9, till October 15. Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the BJP’s student wing, wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and HRD Minister Smriti Irani, seeking their intervention in the case.
“We have taken up the matter and have demanded a high-level inquiry,” an ABVP member said.
Assistant Deputy Commissioner of Gurgaon Pushpender Chauhan said, “We are busy with election activities right now. I met the family today and promised them justice. Also, I will submit an enquiry report to the Deputy Commissioner after elections.”
Meanwhile, Pinky’s brother Arun alleged the hospital administration took half-an-hour to put Pinky on ventilator after she complained of breathlessness. “She was on bed number 14 of the hospital. Not a single power-point near the bed was working. She was shifted to another bed where there was no oxygen mask inside the box above the bed. And by the time she was put on ventilator, it was too late,” Arun alleged.
According to her family, Pinky slipped into coma at 10 pm on Saturday night and was in that state till around 1 am on Sunday, after which she stopped breathing.
Dr Rajpal, medical superintendent at Safdarjung Hospital, said, “Our hospital has 107 beds in the burns ward. While putting the girl on ventilator, all standard operation procedures were taken care of. These are baseless allegations.”
Meanwhile, Arun posted a hand-written letter on a Facebook page — ‘Girl Needs Justice’ — alleging how Pinky was harassed and provoked to attempt suicide by lecturers in her college.