U’khand Junior Doctor Found Dead In Hostel After Professor Rejected Thesis Twice, Demanded 5 Lakh For Passing

U’khand Junior Doctor Found Dead In Hostel After Professor Rejected Thesis Twice, Demanded 5 Lakh For Passing

New Delhi: A junior doctor at a private medical college and hospital in Uttarakhand was found dead in his hostel, just days after his thesis was twice rejected by a professor. His family claims that persistent harassment by his professors led him to die by suicide. His batchmates pointed to the “toxic” environment on campus, citing the gruelling 20-hour workdays for junior doctors.

Dr Divesh Garg, a 26-year-old first-year paediatric student at the Shri Guru Ram Rai Institute of Medical and Health Sciences in Dehradun, was found dead in his hostel room on May 17, according to an India Today report.

The police have filed an FIR against Dr Utkarsh Sharma, the head of the paediatrics department, along with professors Ashish Sethi and Bindu Agarwal, under Section 306 (abetment to suicide) of the IPC in relation to Garg’s death.

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The FIR came after Divesh’s father Ramesh Garg accused Sharma, Sethi, Agarwal, and the college’s management committee of driving his son to suicide.

Ramesh Garg said that his son joined the college in October 2023. Shortly afterwards, he added, Utkarsh Sharma, Ashish Sethi, Bindu Agarwal, and the management committee began harassing him. They allegedly forced him to work 36-hour shifts, even when he had a 104-degree fever.

“My son told me, ‘Utkarsh Sharma rejected my thesis twice and demanded Rs 5,00,000 for passing [it]. He insulted me in front of patients, and Bindu Agrawal mentally tortured me’.”

‘Take Me Away, Or I’ll Commit Suicide’

“He had called me at 10 am on May 17 and said, ‘take me away, or I’ll commit suicide’. We assured him that we would come to get him the next day and urged him not to take any wrong step,” Ramesh Garg said.

Later that day, he added, the family received a call informing them that Divesh had been admitted to the emergency ward.

“Around 10.40 pm, I received another call, stating that his body was in the mortuary. When we arrived, students informed us that the lights in his hostel room had been off for 15-20 minutes and the area had been cleaned,” he alleged.

Speaking to India Today TV, Divesh’s uncle Mohan Dutt Garg described his nephew as a “very simple, quiet, and humble boy who had completed his MBBS from Mathura”. 

“He had previously mentioned facing harassment, including being denied leave for his mother’s treatment. Divesh’s thesis was rejected, and he was pressured with repeated demands for Rs 5 lakh,” he added.

Umesh Bansal, Divesh’s cousin, said they “submitted an application to the police on May 20”. “We were kept waiting for hours at the station and were asked for video evidence. Some even suggested forgetting about filing an FIR,” he added.

While Divesh’s family awaits further details on the cause of his death, Dehradun SSP Ajay Singh told India Today TV on Wednesday that the post-mortem examination did not reveal the exact reason.

“The viscera has been sent for further examination. We have recorded statements from students, faculty, and family, but nothing has come to light so far to determine whether the death was a suicide or due to other reasons. After the viscera examination, we will proceed with the investigation based on the evidence and witness statements,” he added.

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Meanwhile, the management of the Shri Guru Ram Rai Institute of Medical and Health Sciences stated that they have requested an impartial investigation in the matter and are fully cooperating with the police inquiry.

In a statement, the institute emphasised the need for a comprehensive investigation from all perspectives to uncover the truth. This includes examining Divesh Garg’s phone call records, WhatsApp chats, and social media activities, it said.

The institute also announced the formation of an interim inquiry committee tasked with conducting a thorough investigation into all aspects related to the junior doctor’s death and preparing a comprehensive report.

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