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Doctor accused of abetting junior colleague's suicide arrested

May 28, 2019 22:20 IST

A doctor at a state-run hospital in Mumbai, accused of abetting suicide of a junior colleague by tormenting her with castiest slurs, was arrested Tuesday, police said.

IMAGE: Activists stage a protest condemning the death of Payal Tadvi. Photograph: PTI Photo

Agripada police arrested Bhakti Mehere after initial interrogation, a police official said.

Mehere was one of the three senior doctors against whom an offence was registered after 26-year-old Payal Tadvi committed suicide on May 22, police said.

The two other accused doctors -- Ankita Khandelwal and Hema Ahuja -- have moved an anticipatory bail application before the session court in Mumbai, the official said.

 

The three women in their bail application claimed innocence.

The three doctors said in their bail plea they were not even aware of the victim's caste and had only professional interaction with her.

In their bail application, which is likely to come up for hearing Wednesday, the doctors claimed they had not caused any harm to the victim, Dr Payal Tadvi, 26, who allegedly hanged herself on May 22.

Meanwhile, Payal's parents protested at the state-run hospital in Mumbai where she worked.

Other protesters also joined Tadvis mother Abeda and husband Salman, demanding stringent action against the three seniors who allegedly drove her to end her life by "torturing her by ragging and hurling casteist abuses at her."

Protesters belonging to the Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi and other Dalit and tribal organisations held protests outside the BYL Nair Hospital in Mumbai over Tadvi's death.

Abeda said will the government take responsibility for safety of students like her daughter, who are pursuing higher education.

She said Payal would have been the first woman MD doctor from their community.

"Payal used to tell me about the torture which she was facing by her seniors on petty issues. They threw files on her face in front of patients," she said.

"Payal used to tell me not to give a written complaint against her seniors despite being harassed by them. She would say that doing so would advesrely impact their career," Abeda said.

Salman, a doctor, said it is possible that Payal was murdered by the three women doctors.

Expressing solidarity with the protesters and with Tadvis family, Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad said he would visit Maharashtra if needed to "fight for justice for our younger sister.

The Maharashtra State Commission for Women has also taken cognisance of the matter and issued a notice to the hospital authorities demanding a reply within eight days on the action taken to implement the anti-ragging law.

The three women doctors at the hospital accused of driving Tadvi to suicide Monday sought a "fair probe" in the case.

In a letter to the Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors, they said they want the college to conduct a fair investigation in the matter and "give justice" to them.

MARD has suspended the three doctors.

We have credible inputs that the three doctors made casteist remarks against Dr Payal Tadvi, who allegedly committed suicide. We will cooperate with the police for the further investigation, a senior MARD official said.

Tadvi committed suicide on May 22. Her family has alleged that the doctors taunted her for belonging to a Scheduled Tribe.

The three doctors have been booked under the Atrocities Act, the Anti-Ragging Act and the IT Act and Section 306 (abetment to suicide) of the IPC.

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