Payal Tadvi would have been the first woman MD doctor from her community. (File Photo)
The anti-ragging committee of Mumbai’s Topiwala National Medical College has concluded that Dr Payal Tadvi, who allegedly committed suicide last month, faced harassment from the three accused seniors, a source said Tuesday. Tadvi (26), a post-graduate medical student who belonged to a tribal community, allegedly committed suicide on May 22. Speaking to PTI on the condition of anonymity, a member of the anti-ragging committee said, "We questioned several people, her friends and fellow students, and corroborated their statements. It was evident that Payal was harassed over her caste and tribe." The committee comprised senior officials of the medical college, representatives of the Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD), police officials, and social workers.
"The report has been sent to higher authorities in the state government," the member said. The crime branch of Mumbai police Tuesday approached the Bombay High Court seeking fresh custody of the accused doctors, who were Tadvi's seniors at the BYL Nair Hospital to which the medical college is attached. Hema Ahuja, Bhakti Mehere and Ankita Khandelwal, the three doctors arrested for allegedly abetting the suicide, are now in judicial custody.
Earlier, the lawyer representing Payal Tadvi’s family told a Mumbai court that said that circumstances of the medical post-graduate student’s death suggested it was a murder case. “From the circumstances of her death and bruise mark on her body, we can say that it must be a case of murder and not of suicide. Police must investigate this case in the lines of a murder investigation. Police should be given 14 days’ time for that,” Nitin Satpute, counsel representing the deceased’s family, said.
On the morning of May 22, she was admonished by the accused senior colleagues in the presence of other staff and patients. The second-year PG student was seen crying as she left. During the nine days between her husband filing a complaint with the gynaecology unit head of the college and her death, she faced “extreme harassment”, casteist remarks and was unfairly admonished several times. The seniors had come to know of the complaint, The Wire had reported.