Mumbai doc held for junior’s suicide

Mumbai police on Tuesday arrested one of the three doctors accused of abetting the suicide of a 26-year-old postgraduate medical student at BYL Nair Hospital.

The police said they had arrested Dr Bhakti Mehare in connection with the suicide of Dr Payal Tadvi. Two more accused, Dr Ankita Khandelwal and Dr Hema Ahuja, are still absconding.

The accused have applied for anticipatory bail and their plea will be heard on Wednesday.

Dr Tadvi, who committed suicide on May 22, was a student of gynaecology and resident doctor at BYL Nair Hospital.

Her family has alleged that she was driven to suicide because Dr Khandelwal, Dr Ahuja and Dr Mehare discriminated against her on caste grounds.

Dr Tadvi belonged to the adivasi Tadvi Bhil community.

The police have registered a case against Dr Khandelwal, Dr Ahuja and Dr Mehare under section 306 (abetment to suicide) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), sections of the Scheduled Caste/ Scheduled Tribes Atrocities Act, Anti-Ragging Act and Information Technology Act, 2000.

The police also questioned Dr Yi Ching Ling, who headed the unit that Dr Payal Tadviwas a part of, and Dr SD Shirodkar, head of the gynaecology department at BYL Nair Hospital on Tuesday. Statements of other hospital employees were also recorded.

Earlier on Tuesday, an anti-ragging committee appointed by Maharashtra’s health department said it had found prima facie evidence that Dr Khandelwal, Dr Ahuja and Dr Mehare had subjected Dr Tadvi to casteist comments.

The three accused have claimed they did not know Dr Tadvi’s caste or community.

“If the deceased had chosen to simply abstain from coming to the hospital when she was expected there and there were responsibilities to be performed by her from November 2018 to December 2018, if the deceased was labelled as a person who runs away (bhagoda), it cannot be said that it amounted to any kind of abetment to suicide or offences under the Prevention of SC/ST Act,” reads their bail plea.

First Published:
May 28, 2019 23:34 IST

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