Rohtak doctor suicide case: Family says HoD drove Dr Omkar to death

Manik Baridabad, father of victim Dr Omkar, said his son took his own life after HoD Dr Geeta Gathwala did not sanction his leave either for his sister’s wedding or for the reception .
The resident doctors of PGIMS, Rohtak, demanding justice for a doctor who committed suicide, called off their strike on Monday evening after a meeting with PGIMS office-bearers.(Manoj Dhaka / HT Photo)
The resident doctors of PGIMS, Rohtak, demanding justice for a doctor who committed suicide, called off their strike on Monday evening after a meeting with PGIMS office-bearers.(Manoj Dhaka / HT Photo)
Published on Jun 18, 2019 01:36 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, Hisar | BySunil Rahar

Four days after a 30-year-old doctor pursuing MD course at the PGIMS, Rohtak, committed suicide in a hostel room, his family broke silence over the issue saying the head of department (HoD) of paediatrics was to be blamed for the extreme step taken by their son.

Talking to the HT on phone, Manik Baridabad, father of victim Dr Omkar, said his son took his own life after HoD Dr Geeta Gathwala did not sanction his leave either for his sister’s wedding scheduled on June 12 or for the reception that was to take place on June 23.

“The head of the department was harassing him for the past one-and-a-half years. She rejected his thesis a number of times. This was the reason he might have taken such a step. She pressurised him in connection with duty-related work. I request that a proper inquiry should be held and a stern action must be taken against her,” he said.

Manik said he suspected that Dr Gathwala may resort to vindictive behaviour against those students who are protesting, demanding justice for their son.

Dr Omkar’s younger brother Mahantesh Baridabad, who is pursuing engineering from a college in Bangalore, said the family is completely shattered after his brother’s death. “My brother was a brilliant student and a nice human being. We were totally dependent on him. After his death, my mother was admitted to hospital where she is receiving treatment. Some people are spreading rumours that my brother was facing financial problems but that is not right. He was getting stipend for his master’s in medicine course. The HoD’s behaviour snatched his life away from us,” he added.

Dr Gathwala on Sunday had claimed that she had granted leave to Dr Omkar’s and also approved his thesis. “Till date, only five of a total of 13 students have submitted their thesis and the last date for it is June 30. How can anyone blame me for this?” she questioned. The HoD claimed that Dr Omkar was under depression as he had to appear in court hearing as he was held guilty of negligence in the death of a nine-month-old baby and an FIR was lodged in this connection on January 15 last year. She said the hospital authorities suspended her without having any evidence against her in Omkar’s suicide.

PGIMS public relations officer Dr Varun Arora said Dr Gathwala had sent to PGIMS director Dr Rohtash K Yadav the duty roster pertaining to the leaves granted to Dr Omkar for his sister’s wedding. Some junior doctors said though the HoD sanctioned Omkar’s leave, it was with a rider that the students can avail of leaves only after submitting their theses.

The police have formed a special investigation team (SIT) to probe Dr Omkar’s suicide case.

STRIKE CALLED OFF

Meanwhile, the resident doctors called off their strike on Monday evening after a meeting with PGIMS office-bearers. PRO Dr Varun Arora said it was decided in the meeting that one of the 14 paediatrics wards will be named after Dr Omkar. Also, vice-chancellor OP Kalra will write a letter to the state government to provide compensation to the family of the deceased doctor.

“The authorities have agreed on the students’ demand to form an internal committee to ascertain the reasons behind Omkar’s death and to probe the role of Gathwala in the episode,” he said.

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Saturday, November 27, 2021