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Mumbai crime branch to probe junior doctor’s suicide case

The family of Dr Payal Tadvi has accused all the three doctors of driving their daughter to suicide by discriminating against her on the grounds of her caste.

india Updated: May 31, 2019 07:41 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Mumbai,suicide case,junior doctor’s suicide case
Dr Payal Tadvi’s family & All India Students Federation (AISF) stage protest outside the Nair Hospital they are demanding action (Photo by Bhushan Koyande)(HT File Photo)

The crime branch of Mumbai Police will investigate the suicide of a 26-year-old postgraduate medical student at state-run BYL Nair Hospital, Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis ordered on Thursday.

Three doctors — Ankita Khandelwal, Bhakti Mehare and Hema Ahuja — accused of driving Dr Tadvi to suicide have been arrested.

The family of Dr Payal Tadvi has accused all the three doctors of driving their daughter to suicide by discriminating against her on the grounds of her caste. A student of gynaecology and a resident doctor at BYL Nair Hospital, Dr Tadvi belonged to the tribal Tadvi Bhil community.

Also read: Mumbai medico killed herself over casteist slurs by seniors, says mother

The announcement was made after Dr Payal Tadvi’s parents met Devendra Fadnavis on Thursday morning and demanded strict action against the accused. The chief minister has also assured Dr Tadvi’s parents that the guilty will not be spared.

Her parents have demanded a fair probe and strictest action against the accused in a written letter to the CM.

State medical education minister Girish Mahajan, who accompanied the parents to the meeting, confirmed the government’s decision to transfer the case.

Dr Tadvi committed suicide on May 22 by hanging herself. No suicide note has been found so far.

The third-year students at BYL Nair Hospital, accused of Dr Tadvi’s murder, have been remanded to police custody till Friday.

Dr Khandelwal, Dr Ahuja and Dr Mehare have been charged under section 306 (abetting suicide) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), sections of the Scheduled Caste and Tribes Atrocities Act, the anti-ragging act and Information Technology Act, 2000.

The investigating officer in the suicide case informed the court on Wednesday that messages recovered from a workgroup on WhatsApp indicate Dr Tadvi was insulted by the accused.

Public prosecutors Veena Shelar and Jaysing Desai Shelar sought police custody for the accused on the grounds that Dr Khandelwal, Dr Ahuja and Dr Mehare were in the hostel when Dr Tadvi committed suicide and the police needed to investigate if there was a suicide note that may have been misplaced by the accused.

Also read: Student faced casteist taunts, says probe committee

The Tadvi family’s lawyer Nitin Sapute pointed out that injury marks on Dr Tadvi’s body raised suspicion of foul play. However, Dr Mehare’s legal counsel Sandeep Bali pointed out that Dr Tadvi’s room had been locked from the inside.

Bali also said Dr Mehare belongs to a Scheduled Caste and therefore, the allegation that she had made casteist taunts was baseless. Lawyer Abad Ponda said Dr Khandelwal and Dr Ahuja were unaware of Dr Tadvi’s caste.

First Published: May 30, 2019 15:17 IST