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Doc murder unnerves girl

Sivasagar, May 28: The recent murder of junior doctor Sarita Toshniwal in Dibrugarh has dissuaded a meritorious student of Sivasagar from pursuing a career in medicine.

Musliha Begum, who passed with distinction and letter marks in all subjects in the High School Leaving Certificate (HSLC) examination which were declared today, told The Telegraph she has decided not to pursue medicine as she and her family felt studying outside her hometown was “insecure”.

Toshniwal, a junior doctor, was found dead inside the intensive care unit of the gynaecology department of the Assam Medical College and Hospital (AMCH) in Dibrugarh on May 9.

The death had triggered protests, particularly by doctors, across the state. Police later arrested a ward boy Kero Mech and Dr Dipmoni Saikia, Toshniwal’s senior, in connection with the murder.

Musliha’s father Abdul Hakim works as a grade-IV employee at Rangpur Girls’ High School here, from where she passed the HSLC exam with flying colours.

Musliha, a resident of Pohoruddin Nagar here and elder of the two daughters of Hakim and Mun Mun Begum, said she was disheartened by the AMCH incident.

“I made up my mind not to pursue a career in medicine after the incident. Our family anyway is not in a position to bear the cost of pursuing a professional career. But I had kept my hopes alive till the AMCH incident occurred,” she said.

She has now made up her mind to study in the arts stream.

Musliha said despite the economic hindrances faced by her family, her father did everything he could so she could study without facing any hardship. “He arranged for everything, including books and study materials needed to continue my studies,” she said.

Her father said he had worked hard to ensure that his daughter fetched good marks in the exams.

“I have tried my best to ensure that my daughter did not face any problem in her studies. She can select the science stream if she wishes but I think I may not be in a position to bear the expenses for a professional career,” he said.

He said if his daughter gets admission in a medical college after the higher secondary exams, he would not send her there owing to the “insecurity”.

“I have, therefore, decided to enrol her in the arts stream. Besides, she can study in a local college under our watchful eyes,” he said.