Did “Eve-Teasing” Claim the Life of This 20-Year-Old UP Topper?


Did “Eve-Teasing” Claim the Life of This 20-Year-Old UP Topper?

Illustration: Robin Chakraborty

A 20-year-old woman from Uttar Pradesh was killed after her two-wheeler met with an accident in the state’s Bulandshahr district. But this is not just an unfortunate mishap. If the family is to be believed, the accident took place because two boys, riding a motorcycle, were eve-teasing her.

Sudeeksha Bhati was going to visit a relative when the accident took place. However, the police have denied allegations of harassment.

“The girl was going to a relative’s place with her uncle on a bike when she met with an accident and died on the spot,” said Bulandshahr (city) Superintendent of Police Atul Kumar Srivastava. “The bike she was riding pillion, collided with a Bullet motorcycle. A case has been registered in this regard and hunt is on for the owner of the motorcycle that collided with the bike of Sudeeksha’s uncle.”

According to the police, the uncle did not speak about the harassment when the accident happened.

However, Satendra Bhati, who claimed he was riding the scooter, said that two men on a Bullet were performing stunts and trying to overtake them. “Suddenly, he overtook us and applied the brakes, due to which our bike lost control and we met with an accident. My niece suffered head injuries and collapsed on the spot,” he told News18.

Another relative Omkar Bhati told NDTV that the two men on the bike were harassing Sudeeksha. They were passing comments on her and were driving recklessly,” he said.

District Magistrate Ravinder Kumar, however, has contradicted the family’s narrative and claimed that it was not the uncle but the woman’s brother who was riding the bike. “The motorcycle was being driven by her brother, a minor, and not Sudeeksha’s uncle. So far, there is no evidence of harassment,” he said.

A daughter of a farmer, Sudeeksha was a bright student who had topped her district in the CBSE Class 12 exams with a score of 98 per cent and had secured a full-time scholarship at the prestigious Babson College in Massachusetts. She had returned from the US in June because of the coronavirus pandemic and was scheduled to fly back in August.

Her untimely death was condemned by political parties with those in the opposition using it as an opportunity to attack the Yogi Adityanath government. Former UP Chief Minister and Bahujan Samaj Party chief has demanded swift action against the culprits. “A bright student, Sudeeksha Bhaati, who was going on a bike with her uncle in Bulandshahr, lost her life due to eve-teasing, which is extremely sad, embarrassing and very condemnable. How will daughters progress,” she wrote on Twitter.

Congress’s Surendra Rajput said that this was a clear example of how “hooligans” had taken control of the state. “…A topper student was chased by eve-teasers and then she died in the accident, this proves that there is no law and order in the state. The police are being beaten up by criminals and BJP members, the government has failed in implementing law and order. The chief minister should take cognisance of the issue and must ensure strict action against the culprits,” he said.

The woman’s unfortunate death has also stirred outrage online with many believing the family’s version of the incident over that of the UP administration and demanding #JusticeforSudeeksha.