Uttarakhand news: Outrage as junior doctor at medical college in Dehradun dies, family alleges harassment

  • Divesh Garg, a 26-year-old first-year pediatric 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

Livemint
Updated23 May 2024
Divesh Garg, a 26-year-old first-year pediatric 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
Divesh Garg, a 26-year-old first-year pediatric 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

A young junior doctor's death has sparked outrage and raised serious concerns about the working conditions and alleged harassment in a private medical college and hospital in Uttarakhand. 

Divesh Garg, a 26-year-old first-year pediatric 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, days after facing rejection of his thesis by a professor, India Today reported.

According to an India Today report, Divesh Garg's family has pointed fingers at the relentless harassment by his professors, accusing them of driving him to take his own life. The father also alleged that the professor even demanded 5 lakh to pass Divesh Garg.

Garg's father stated that around 10:40 pm on May 17, they received a call informing them that their son's body was in the mortuary, barely twelve hours after the latter had called his parents asking for help to be 'taken away'. 

Upon their arrival, students gathered around and informed them that the lights in his hostel room had been switched off for 15-20 minutes and the room had been cleaned. He alleged that his son's death was the result of a conspiracy.

Allegations include excessive work hours, demands for bribes, and mental torture by faculty members. Divesh's father, Ramesh Garg, recounted to India Today how his son had been subjected to gruelling 36-hour shifts even while battling a high fever and faced humiliation in front of patients.

The police have initiated action, filing an FIR against Dr Utkarsh Sharma, head of the Department of Pediatrics, and professors Ashish Sethi and Bindu Agarwal under section 306 of the IPC, based on a complaint lodged by Garg's father. 

However, investigations are ongoing, with the cause of death yet to be conclusively determined.

Amidst calls for justice, protests erupted at the hospital premises led by PG doctors, disrupting patient care services until a resolution was reached through talks with hospital management. The incident has reignited discussions about the working conditions and mental health support for medical professionals, with hashtags like #JusticeForDrDiveshGarg trending on social media.

While the institute has pledged cooperation with the police investigation and formed an interim enquiry committee, concerns persist about the 'toxic' work culture and its impact on the well-being of junior doctors. 

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