Accused doctors in Payal Tadvi's case never behaved normally with their juniors, say doctors

Updated: Jul 31, 2019, 08:27 IST | Faizan Khan

Exclusive: Shocking testimonies in charge sheet show doctors warned the three accused several times about their abusive behaviour towards juniors like Payal Tadvi

Accused doctors in Payal Tadvi's case never behaved normally with their juniors, say doctors

The incessant alleged ragging by Dr Payal Tadvi's seniors, Hema Ahuja, Bhakti Mehare and Ankita Khandelwal, had earned them so much infamy that a doctor from Nair hospital had warned the trio that someday someone would kill themselves because of it. Despite the now ominous warning, they continued to taunt, harass and abuse Dr Tadvi, in whose suicide case they have now been booked. All of this has been revealed in the witness statements recorded by the Crime Branch. The statements form a part of the 1,200-page charge sheet filed against the trio, which has statements from several Nair hospital employees, detailing the harassment Dr Tadvi suffered.

Also Read: Mumbai doctor's suicide: The last call before Dr Payal Tadvi killed herself 

Ominous warning

One of the doctors has said he saw the trio harassing Dr Tadvi multiple times. "In October and November [2018], I was doing rounds of ward number 7, when I saw Dr Hema and Dr Bhakti tearing apart a paper from a medical file. I've seen this on two or three occasions. Once, I even asked Dr Hema and Dr Bhakti, "what are you two doing?", to which Dr Hema angrily said, "Don't get in the middle of this," he said. Another time, the doctor asked them to get their behaviour in check before something dire happens. He said, "Once when I saw a junior doctor leaving from the ward, I told both of them [Hema and Bhakti], if you don't improve your actions, your juniors will commit suicide. Everybody knows what your behaviour is like; nobody's going to side with you. In November 2018, Dr Tadvi had complained to the unit head, Dr Ching Ling, after which the three doctors gave a cross-complaint against her for not doing her work properly."

Ankita Khandelwal, Bhakti Mehare and  Hema Ahuja continued to taunt, harass and abuse Dr Tadvi
Ankita Khandelwal, Bhakti Mehare and Hema Ahuja continued to taunt, harass and abuse Dr Tadvi

Another doctor who has seen all three of them not behaving well, once told Dr Ching Ling, "Madam, both of us have completed our residency and both of us had juniors, but these doctors [the trio] don't behave normally with their juniors." The doctor had also asked Dr Ching Ling to intervene and ask the accused to behave properly. Another doctor said in his statement that he had heard a doctor telling the trio inside a ward, "Don't trouble your juniors so much that one day they end up doing something that may backfire on you."

Also Read: Mumbai doctor's suicide: Chilling minutes before and after Dr. Payal Tadvi's death

Dr Hema didn't help

One of the witnesses has also said that after Dr Tadvi committed suicide, several doctors rushed to her room. While doctors and staff were trying to bring her body down from the ceiling fan, Dr Hema just stood there, instead of helping others. The statement of a professor at the hospital has also been recorded, in which she mentions a text message sent by Dr Hema after Dr Tadvi's death. She said, "Dr Hema sent me a message saying, 'Ma'am, their family has lodged an FIR against us for ragging. We are outside the dean's office'." Dr Hema called the professor soon after. On the phone, the professor heard the trio arguing and asked them to approach Dr Ching Ling to give their side of the story. Apart from the statements, the charge sheet also mentions that a grade four employee of the hospital had complained to their sister-in-charge about Dr Hema misbehaving with the nurses.

Also Read: Dr Payal Tadvi in her suicide note: I literally do not see any way, only the end

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