Medical college removes principal after protest
GURGAON: Over 250 students of the Shree Guru Gobind Singh Tricentenary (SGT) University and family members of the 23-year-old medical student who recently committed suicide blocked the Gurgaon-Jhajjar road on Monday, demanding action against the institution.
The seven-hour long protest ended after the college suspended the principal and the head of the department of medicine submitted his resignation. More than 80 protesters, including 15 students of the college, were booked for blocking the road for several hours, police said.
Payal Godara was a final-year MBBS student at SGT Dental College, Hospital and Research Institute in Gurgaon’s Chandu Budhera village. Her body was found hanging in her hostel room from the ceiling fan by her roommate on February 4. Payal had failed in the medicines paper. Students and the girl’s relatives alleged she was forced to take the extreme step because of harassment by the college authorities. “We want the principal to be arrested and the case handed over to CBI for a fair investigation,” said one of Payal’s classmates.
The suicide note that was found at the scene was also called into question by Payal’s family. The suicide note, written in Hindi, said no one was responsible for the suicide and Payal was unhappy with her performance in the final examination. Her family members, however, alleged the note had been fabricated. A relative said Payal was not proficient in Hindi. Police said the suicide note would been sent to the Forensic Science Lab in Madhuban. “We are trying to find her writing sample in Hindi to match it with the suicide note,” a senior police officer said.
The protesters also appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar to intervene and ensure justice.
At least 70 policemen, including DCP West Kulvinder Singh reached the spot and assured the students of proper investigation in the case. Singh said a case has already been filed against the college management for abetment to suicide. “We were concerned about maintaining law and order in the area so we focused on dispersing the traffic jam and diverted the traffic towards alternate routes,” he said.
Around 4pm, the college management issued the suspension order of the principal and the HOD of the department of medicine, who later submitted his resignation. They also held a meeting with the students and villagers and asked for 10 days’ time to refund Payal’s fee.
The college, which was closed for four days, reopened on Monday and college authorities said they had initiated a probe. “An FIR has been already been lodged with police while we have fulfilled the demands of the students. The principal has been replaced while the HOD, department of medicine, has resigned from the college,” said Prem Singh, registrar at SGT University.