Dr Payal Tadvi suicide case: Two more doctors arrested for tormenting victim with casteist slurs
Tadvi, 26, hanged herself at her room last Wednesday following which her family alleged that the doctors taunted her by ragging and hurling casteist abuses as she belonged to a Scheduled Tribe.
MUMBAI: Two more doctors at a state-run hospital here were arrested for allegedly abetting the suicide of a junior colleague by passing casteist slurs at her, police said on Wednesday.
An accused doctor was arrested on Tuesday in connection with the suicide. All the three accused were produced in a court here and remanded in police custody till May 31.
The court accepted the police argument that the custody of the three accused — Bhakti Mehere, Hema Ahuja and Ankita Khandelwal — was required to ascertain if the victim left a suicide note and if the accused destroyed or misplaced it.
The police told the court that while the mobile phones of the accused were seized, more time was required to recover their WhatsApp chats with the victim.
The police claimed that the victim’s body had a few injury marks which needed to be probed. The postmortem report was awaited, they said.
While Mehere was arrested after initial interrogation, Hema Ahuja and Ankita Khandelwal were nabbed in the early hours on Wednesday, a police officer said.
“The two were arrested from Pune and Mumbai,” Deputy Commissioner of Police (zone III) Avinash Kumar said.
The three doctors were booked after their 26-year-old junior colleague Payal Tadvi at the Mumbai civic body-run BYL Nair Hospital allegedly hanged herself at her hostel room last Wednesday, a senior police official said.
Her family alleged that the doctors taunted her by ragging and hurling casteist abuses as she belonged to a Scheduled Tribe.
The accused were booked under the Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, Anti-Ragging Act, IT Act and section 306 (abetment to suicide) of the Indian Penal Code.
Advocate Nitin Satpute, appearing for the victim’s family, claimed that the injury marks revealed Tadvi was killed.
The accused’s lawyer, Aabad Ponda, argued that the three doctors were not aware of Payal Tadvi’s caste. If the victim found no other option, she could have walked out of her job or lodged a complaint, he said.