Sudeeksha Bhati, a tea seller’s daughter who had overcome great difficulties in life to secure a scholarship in the US, has died in a road accident. The 20-year-old, who was visiting her home in Bulandshahr district in western Uttar Pradesh amid the Coronavirus pandemic, was allegedly chased by eve teasers on her way to a relative’s place in Bulandshahr's Sikandrabad.
The incident led to her falling off the bike – she was reportedly riding along with her uncle on a separate bike – and meeting with the tragic accident, the girl’s family has claimed.
Sudeeksha was scheduled to resume studies at the Babson College in Massachusetts this August. She had made it to the prestigious institute after topping her district in 2018, with 98 percent marks in her class 12 board examinations. Her remarkable academic performance had won her a scholarship to study abroad.
The incident is currently under investigation, and district administration has denied claims of harassment. According to district magistrate Ravindra Kumar, the motorcycle Sudeeksha was on was being driven by her brother – a “minor” – and not her uncle. However, a CCTV footage that allegedly shows the two accused in this incident is being investigated, media reports state.
“But we will investigate the harassment charge and are trying to get in touch with Sudeeksha’s family,” Kumar was quoted as saying in media reports.
While it is yet to be ascertained whether it is a case of eve-teasing or an unfortunate road accident, the incident has already become a talk point on social media. On Tuesday, an account of the accident was shared on Twitter by young environment activist Licypriya Kangujam. And it was subsequently taken up by National Commission for Women (NCW) chairperson Rekha Sharma, who has promised prompt action.
— Rekha Sharma (@sharmarekha) August 11, 2020
“Very sad... We are taking up the matter and writing to @dgpup to arrest this miscreants immediately (sic),” she shared on the social media site.
(Edited by Athira Nair)