A 20-year-old nursing student committed suicide by hanging herself from the ceiling fan of her hostel room at AIIMS on Sunday night. The victim had earlier alleged harassment by the hostel superintendent.
According to the police, the victim’s friend went to check on her after receiving a call from her mother, who said she was unable to reach her daughter, Pallavi Grover, on phone despite repeated attempts.
Pallavi was a third-year BSC (Hons) nursing student at the institute.
According to students at AIIMS, Pallavi’s body was found around 10 pm on Sunday. A suicide note was also retrieved, which is with the police. The body has been sent for autopsy.
On Monday, AIIMS constituted a nine-member enquiry committee to look into the matter and removed the nurses’ hostel superintendent Shashi Mawar from the post.
“The committee headed by Dr PK Julka (dean, AIIMS) will investigate the matter and will submit the report at the earliest. The hospital superintendent has been replaced but Shashi will continue as the lecturer of the College of Nursing. Appropriate action will be taken only after the enquiry committee submits its report. We will have to hear both sides before taking any action,” said Dr Neerja Bhatla, spokesperson, AIIMS.
“Pallavi was repeatedly harassed by the hostel superintendent and had complained against her several times. We even told the principal about the treatment meted out to my sister three months back, but no action was taken. She would always harass my sister by making provocative comments and insulting her. She would often discourage Pallavi and ask her how she made it to AIIMS. She often told her to see a psychiatrist,” said Pallavi’s brother Lucky Grover, who is a resident of Hari Nagar and is a student of IIM, Ahmedabad.
“She failed my sister in the practical examination when the external examiner cleared her. She was a single-digit rank holder at the AIIMS entrance examination, how can she fail? Last night, when the hostel superintendent came for inspection around 9:30 pm, she again provoked my sister, which made her take the extreme step. Our demand is not just suspension, but termination of Shashi Mawar,” a livid brother added.
The nursing students at AIIMS held a candlelight vigil around 5 pm and shouted slogans outside the director’s residence and the College of Nursing, seeking justice for Pallavi.
“We are all being subjected to mental torture and harassment by the
hostel superintendent. Pallavi was very soft spoken, which made her an easy target. Last night, when we called up the faculty members, no one picked up the call. Not a single faculty member was present when we needed their help. We demand her suspension,” said a nursing student, who lives in the hostel.