The panel appointed by the Devendra Fadnavis government has reportedly said that Dr Payal Tadvi, who had allegedly committed suicide at Mumbai’s TN Topiwala National Medical College, didn’t face any caste-based slurs. Instead, the panel said that she was overworked and faced severe ragging by the seniors. According to The Indian Express report, Tadvi was under pressure due to long working hours. The Indian Express said that 16-page report has detailed account of the statements by doctors, hostel inmates Tadvi’s family members.
Three seniors of the second-year gynaecology student were arrested for their role in Tadvi’s suicide. Dr Bhakti Mehare, Dr Ankita Khandelwal and Dr Hema Ahuja are in judicial custody right now. This comes after an anti-ragging committee of Mumbai’s Topiwala National Medical College said that Dr Tadvi faced harassment from the three accused seniors. The 26-year-old 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.