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Mystery shrouds Noida teen’s ‘suicide over TikTok likes’, police suspect peer pressure

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TikTok logo | Shiho Fukada | Bloomberg
TikTok logo (representational image) | Shiho Fukada | Bloomberg


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New Delhi: An 18-year-old youth allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself from the ceiling fan of his room in his residence in Noida as he was “depressed for not getting enough likes for his TikTok videos”.

The youth hung himself Thursday, a day after he uploaded two videos on the hugely popular Chinese video-making app.

Police rushed to Noida after receiving a call from the youth’s father as he was not opening the door. 

The father told ThePrint: “I had gone to bring some vegetables since both me and my son had barely stepped out these days due to the lockdown.” 

When he returned a little before 7 pm and knocked on the door of their rented accommodation, his son didn’t open for a long time, following which he informed police.

The police broke open the door and found the body hanging from the ceiling.

The youth did not leave any suicide note.

Additional DCP, Zone 1, Noida, Ranvijay Singh, said the youth told his father, the neighbours and his friends that he was “depressed for not getting enough likes for his videos on the app”.


Also read: Funny videos, TikTok dances, serious info — how social media has responded to coronavirus


Created TikTok account just 3 days ago

When ThePrint checked the youth’s profile on TikTok, it was found that he had created his account just three days ago, Wednesday.

His account, with 52 followers, has two videos, featuring himself — both uploaded Wednesday. While the first video has 246 views, the second 111 views until the time of publishing this report.

Police said the youth lived with his father, who is a carpenter by profession. His mother stayed separately. The youth’s elder sister recently got married. The family is a native of Malda district in West Bengal. 

He studied until Class X and completed most of his schooling in Malda. He shifted to Noida with his father three years ago, according to police.

‘Peer pressure’

Police suspect the youth may have been under peer pressure for making videos. 

“Kids these days know what influence social media has and it appears he knew that people have many more followers (on TikTok),” said Additional DCP Singh.

“It is a family from a poor background. We are investigating the matter and the rest will depend on the report of the post-mortem, which is not out yet,” he added.

The youth’s father said he noticed that his son, who otherwise never complained, was sad Thursday.

“Lunch se pehle beta bahut udaas tha, phir do ghante soya bhi tha (He was very upset before lunch. But he slept after that for two hours),” he told ThePrint.

So far, no FIR has been registered, police said.

India has proved to be the best breeding ground for the app, which contributed 44 per cent towards the overall growth number of global downloads. TikTok downloads in India in 2019 stood at 323 million, almost double from its figure of 180 million in 2018.


Also read: Don’t look down on TikTok. The ‘timepass’ app now has COVID-19 experts and Bollywood celebs


 

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Andhra doctor, suspended for alleging PPE shortage, now beaten by cops for ‘creating nuisance’

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Bengaluru: A doctor with a government hospital in Andhra Pradesh, who was suspended for questioning the shortage of PPE kits, was admitted to a mental health facility Sunday, a day after he was allegedly manhandled by the police and arrested for creating nuisance in Visakhapatnam.

Dr Sudhakar Rao, a government civil surgeon, was beaten, his hands tied behind his back and dragged by police officers Sunday. During the incident, Sudhakar allegedly verbally abused the Jagan Mohan Reddy government in an inebriated state. Videos of the incident have since been widely shared online.

“The police control room received a call about a person creating nuisance on Beach Road Hospital in Visakhapatnam. The Fourth Town police was rushed there and found that the person was the suspended doctor, Sudhakar.

“When the police tried to control him, he snatched the mobile phone of an officer and threw it away. He is suffering from mental disorder and he was drunk. He was sent for a medical examination,” Vishakapatnam Police Commissioner R.K. Meena told the media Sunday.

Sudhakar was admitted to a mental hospital Sunday after doctors at the King George Hospital in Vishakapatnam said he suffered from anxiety.

“Since the doctor is in anxiety and talking irrelevant things, I have referred him to a mental care hospital in Visakhapatnam,” said Dr Radha Rani, medical superintendent, King George Hospital.

A statement released by the hospital said: “Dr Sudhakar was brought to the KGH casualty ward at 6.30 pm. From the smell, it was found that he was in a drunk condition. Under the influence of alcohol, he did not cooperate with anybody there and kept abusing all. Still, his pulse, BP were checked. Pulse was 98, BP 140/100. Blood samples were sent to forensic lab to ascertain alcohol content in his blood.”


Also read: 6 toilets for 20 houses, inadequate testing: Why Mumbai’s Worli chawls are a Covid hotspot


‘Treatment towards Sudhakar was inhuman’

Sudhakar, who spent more than 10 years at the Narsipatnam Government Hospital in Andhra Pradesh, was suspended from his duties in March after he openly criticised the Reddy government for failing to provide PPE kits and N95 masks to doctors treating Covid-19 patients.

He had alleged that the state government was giving N95 masks and PPE kits meant for doctors to politicians and the police.

A video of Sudhakar criticising the government was also shared widely. In the clip, he can be heard saying: “We are putting our lives at risk here. We are asked to use the same mask for 15 days and a fresh mask will be provided only twice a month.”

Speaking to ThePrint, Dr P. Gangadhar Rao, member of the National COVID Committee of the Indian Medical Association, said the manner in which Sudhakar was manhandled by the police was “inhuman” and “violated” human rights.

“We strongly condemn the way he was taken into custody. He was not carrying a weapon, he was alone, the number of policemen outnumbered him. Why treat him like that? We also saw a video where a policeman beats him with a lathi,” said Dr Gangadhar.

He added that Rao was one of the most experienced anaesthetists the Andhra Pradesh government had.

“Our next step of action is to get Sudhakar to write an unconditional apology for having used filthy language, abusing the chief minister and the government. We will then take our appeal to the CM seeking that he be reinstated,” Gangadhar said.


Also read: Face shields, gowns, masks — the new attire for cabin crew post lockdown


 

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