Delhi: PhD scholar at AIIMS attempts suicide after complaining of mental harassment, abuse by academic supervisor

A 36-year-old PhD student at AIIMS allegedly attempted suicide, accusing his supervisor of mental harassment, abuse and delay in his fellowship.

PTI March 27, 2018 09:46:18 IST
Delhi: PhD scholar at AIIMS attempts suicide after complaining of mental harassment, abuse by academic supervisor

New Delhi: A 36-year-old PhD student at AIIMS allegedly attempted suicide, accusing his supervisor of mental harassment, abuse and delay in his fellowship.

The incident triggered protests by the PhD students of the premier health institute who are demanding suspension and strict action against the accused supervisor.

The fifth-year student of the Microbiology department attempted suicide on Sunday at his residence in Gautam Nagar by overdosing on drugs. The victim, according to an acquaintance, is right now admitted at the hospital's psychiatry ward for counselling.

Though a preliminary inquiry was conducted, according to the police, they were yet to receive any formal complaint. "Dr Rajat Prakash was admitted to AIIMS after consuming sleeping pills. Preliminary enquiry revealed that the patient is a student of PhD and was feeling harassed by his guide. He had taken sleeping pills. He is stable but still in AIIMS. No formal complaint received so far," Romil Baaniya, Deputy Commissioner of Police (South) said.

Delhi PhD scholar at AIIMS attempts suicide after complaining of mental harassment abuse by academic supervisor

File image of AIIMS. CNN-News18

In his letter to AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria, the student alleged that he was being mentally harassed and humiliated by the supervisor under whom he got registered in August 2013. "I have been under constant mental harassment and humiliation. She has again and again used filthy and abusive language in front of everyone. She scolds even when work is done correctly. My mental harassment is aggravated as she is not able to procure appropriate facilities, funds in the lab and makes no attempt to get the things done. Due to not holding of DCs in time, my fellowship is delayed and this puts me in additional financial problem and mental burden," the student alleged in the letter.

He also claimed that some students, who also are undergoing PhD under the same guide, having contracted TB while working in the lab due to lack of proper equipment and personal protective accessories given to them. "We are looking into the matter and the allegations made by the student...an inquiry into the incident will be conducted accordingly," a senior AIIMS official said.

The AIIMS Director has constituted a committee under the chairmanship of the Dean (Academic) to look into the matter. The committee has been asked to submit its report within a week. The first meeting of the committee was held on Monday.

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