UP Topper, Studying In US, Killed In Accident In Bulandshahr; Family Alleges Eve Teasing, Police Contradicts
A teenage student of Babson College in Massachusetts, United States (US), has been killed in a road accident in Uttar Pradesh.
The victim, Sudeeksha Bhati, who hails from Gautam Buddh Nagar district in Uttar Pradesh (UP), had come home due to Covid-19 pandemic and was supposed to return to the US on 20 August. The 19-year-old was on her way to Bulandshahr on a two-wheeler when the accident took place.
Her family members have alleged that when she was with her uncle on a scooty from Dadri on Monday (10 August) evening, two men on a motorcycle started following them and tried to harass her.
“The men were passing comments on Sudeeksha and were trying to overtake her vehicle performing stunts to impress her. Suddenly, their Bullet hit Sudeeksha’s scooty and she lost balance. Sudeeksha died on the spot,” said Satyendra Bhati, the uncle.
On the other hand, the District Magistrate (DM) and police officials have contradicted the statements by the family.
As per police officials, Sudeeksha was riding pillion with her younger brother, who is "a minor" on a motorcycle. Their vehicle rammed into another bike which had abruptly stopped in front of them due to traffic, said the officials as cited in a Hindustan Times report.
The district police has also shared a video of her younger brother's statement, in which, the cops said there was no mention of the alleged harassment.
Speaking to reporters, DM Ravindra Kumar said the girl was travelling from Dadri, a town in Gautam Buddh Nagar district, to Bulandshahr which is nearly 40 kilometres away.
Kumar, however, also said that "we will investigate the harassment charge and are trying to get in touch with Sudeeksha’s family".
Atul Srivastava, Superintendent of Police (City) said that the body has been sent for post mortem and a probe was underway.
As per officials cited in the HT report, a team was on the way to Dadri to meet the deceased's family as their phones were not reachable.
Sudeeksha, whose father runs a small dhaba and mother is a homemaker, had grown up with dreams about a school education when financial constraints forced her to drop out in 2009, according to a report by news agency IANS.
The eldest of six siblings, when Sudeeksha started her journey to fulfil that dream, circumstances led her father, Jitendra Bhati, to take her out of school. Jitendra, who comes from a family of farmers, had started a business in 2004, but faced losses in 2009.
As the business floundered, he had to sell off his land to start a tea stall. Keeping her in school was the last priority. Sudeeksha was out of school for some time, but the urge to study kept her going.
“Initially, I was very upset with my father and blamed him for my not being able to study. However, a few days later, I went to the government school and sought admission,” she had said in an earlier interview.
She was later admitted to a government primary school in her village, Dhoom Manikpur, where she studied till Class V. Her bright academic credentials soon forced her father to think of a better school. He got Sudeeksha books to prepare for the entrance exams to Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya and Vidyagyan Leadership Academy in Bulandshahr.
In 2011, Sudeeksha was admitted to the latter, where she studied till Class 12, free of cost.
It was, however, a summer academic programme at the Lacocca Institute in Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania in July 2016, which led Sudeeksha to dream of going abroad. She was one of the 76 students from India selected by the institute.
“The experience was transformative. I decided I wanted to go to the US for future studies,” she had told during her interviews earlier.
In April 2017, Sudeeksha started preparing for the SAT exam, which assesses a student’s readiness for admission in a US college, and TOEFL.
“My school helped us prepare and funded the tests, besides exempting us from regular Class 12 classes, just to help us clear the exam,” she had added.
Sudeeksha, along with three other students of the school, had secured scholarships in different colleges in the US.
(With inputs from IANS)
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