BULANDSHAHR, Uttar Pradesh – A young Indian student at Babson College in Boston, Massachusetts, was killed in a road accident in Uttar Pradesh.
The victim, Sudeeksha Bhati, was in India for vacation and was planning on returning to the U.S. on Aug. 20. The 19-year-old was on her way to Bulandshahr on a two-wheeler when the accident took place.
Her family members claimed she was with her uncle on a scooter from Dadri on Aug. 10 evening, when two men on a motorcycle started following them.
"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.
A state government spokesman, though, categorically denied that there was any eve teasing involved in the incident and said that the family of the victim has not made any such complaint.
Atul Srivastava, Superintendent of Police (city) said that the body has been sent for post mortem and a probe was underway.
Bahujan Samaj Party president Mayawati has condemned the incident and demanded action against the culprits. She tweeted: "A promising 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? BSP strongly demands that UP government should take strict legal action against the culprits immediately."
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.
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 program at the Lacocca Institute in Lehigh University in 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 U.S. for future studies," she had said during her earlier interviews.
In April 2017, Sudeeksha started preparing for the SAT exam 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 at different colleges in the U.S.