Friday, December 8, 2023

Ph.D. scholar’s suicide sparks students’ outrage over negligence at Central University of Rajasthan

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A Ph.D. scholar at the Central University of Rajasthan died on July 26 after a series of events that began with her suicide attempt. The students alleged that the medical negligence from authorities claimed her life. They also said that the security officer in the campus assaulted the protesting students.

A final-year Ph.D. scholar in the Social Work department at the Central University of Rajasthan attempted suicide on the night of 26th July. The student, identified as Phunstog Dolma, a Ladak resident, was fortunately rescued by her vigilant roommate, who promptly broke open the door upon learning of the distressing situation. However, a series of events unfolded that ultimately led to the loss of Phunstog Dolma’s life.

After the rescue, it was found that the B1 Hostel where Phunstog resided lacked ambulance facilities. Desperate to get her medical attention, the hostel warden took her in her personal vehicle to the University medical health center. Tragically, upon arrival, there were no medical officers or nursing staff present at the health center. This led to critical time being lost in seeking immediate medical attention for the student.

Attempts were made to reach the ambulance service, but the university campus faced difficulties in allowing the ambulance to exit promptly, exacerbating the dire situation. The ambulance itself lacked essential life-saving equipment, including oxygen cylinders, further compromising the student’s chances of survival during the journey to the hospital, students told Maktoob. As a result, Phunstog Dolma succumbed to her injuries on the way.

News of the student’s death spread rapidly across the campus, prompting a gathering of students outside the Girls’ hostel. In response to the apparent negligence of the university administration, students began a peaceful protest, demanding justice for Phunstog Dolma.

“The situation took a turn for the worse when the Security Officer, Rajpal Singh Rewar, reportedly threatened and physically manhandled the protesting students,” a student said.

“Throughout the night, the university administration failed to respond to the students’ demands and concerns, leaving them waiting in the rain. Rewar also called the local police to intervene without obtaining proper authorization, as confirmed by Sub Inspector Virendra Singh,” the student added.

The students’ demands include a proper, independent, and fair investigation into the incident, the immediate termination of Rajpal Singh Rewar’s services, and the urgent implementation of adequate medical facilities on campus, including oxygen cylinders and life support systems.

Furthermore, the absence of medical staff during the incident and the delayed response from the university administration are also under scrutiny.

Students said that they are demanding strict action against those responsible for the lack of medical assistance and the unauthorized call to the police.

The students are also seeking transparency from the university regarding the measures taken after a previous suicide case involving a student named Saloni Sahu.

“We want regular updates on the progress of the investigation into Phunstog Dolma’s case and we insist that all academic activities, including internal exams, be suspended until our demands are met,” the student said.

The situation at the Central University of Rajasthan remains tense, with students united in their pursuit of justice for their fellow scholar. Authorities have yet to issue an official statement regarding the incident and the demands made by the students.

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