The family of a 16-year-old girl who wanted to be a doctor but died under mysterious circumstances in Andhra Pradesh’s Visakhapatnam one month ago, is seeking justice and has sought the intervention of the Prime Minister, the Union home minister and anybody who would listen.
The minor girl’s sister, Sukriti Saha, has tweeted that her sister had last called her father on the night of July 14 and had a “normal” conversation. She had said she ate ice-cream and was confident as she was well prepared for her exam the next day.
Just before midnight, one Mr Ravikant from Aakash-Byju’s, where she was taking coaching to write the medical entrance exam NEET, had called to inform that she had fallen at around 10:20 pm from the fourth floor terrace of her hostel building and was shifted to a nearby hospital. The warden, who was on a conference call, had interrupted and had said she had fallen from the staircase of the 3rd floor and landed on the first floor.
Sukriti says her family lives in Kolkata and reached Visakhapatnam the next day at 2pm. Her sister had been put on ventilator. They shifted her from Venkataramana Hospital to CARE Hospital, where she had died the day after around noon.
The sister claims they had tried to file an FIR alleging murder but the police had refused. She also alleges Aakash-Byju’s had tried to offer money to her father through some friends who had come with him from Kolkata.
The family says CCTV footage given by the police showed the girl in a night dress, whereas CCTV footage showed her in a T-shirt and shorts. The family says they returned home with the body on July 18 but did not hear further from the police.
On August 8, her father returned and filed a writ petition in the Andhra Pradesh High Court alleging inaction on the part of the police. They also said they suspect evidence has been destroyed.
Subsequently, the court appointed a court commissioner to look into the issue. According to Sukriti, the court commissioner, who was asked to file a report in 15 days, had said the police had mishandled the investigation. The court has also asked all respondents in the case to get back in 21 days.
The Vizag police told String Reveals they are convinced they have done a thorough investigation and suspect it could be either an accidental fall or a suicide death.
“CCTV footage shows she went up the stairs and fell. We have sent her electronic devices, including an iPad, for forensic exam. If that is cracked, all details will become clear,” he said.
The FIR filed in the case does not mention Aakash-Byju’s. Sources say, the girl’s death had happened at a private hostel where she was studying to pursue her class 11-12 studies and not at Aakash-Byju’s that was coaching her for NEET.