Payal Tadvi suicide case: All 3 accused arrested, likely to be produced in court today

Updated: May 29, 2019, 11:40 IST | mid-day online desk |

Police arrested Bhakti Mehar from the Session Court in Mumbai and nabbed Hema Ahuja from the Andheri railway station

Representational image
Representational image

Mumbai Police have arrested all three doctors for abetting the suicide of postgraduate medical student Payal Salman Tadvi, their junior colleague at a state-run hospital here, by harassing her over her social identity.

The three accused doctors -Bhakti Mehar, Hema Ahuja and Ankita Khandilwal- had denied the charges levelled against them by Payal's mother Abeda Tadvi who claimed that her daughter had committed suicide after being unable to bear months of torture by the trio.

On Tuesday, police arrested Bhakti Mehar from the Session Court in Mumbai and nabbed Hema Ahuja from the Andheri railway station. According to the CrPC 46 (4), with permission from the Sewadi Court, Hema was arrested in the night, police said.

The third doctor accused of harassing medical student Payal Tadvi was arrested by police on Wednesday.

Also read: Mumbai doctor's suicide: Mom submitted, took back detailed complaint 9 days before suicide

All the three accused doctors in the case- Ankita Khandelwal, Bhakti Mehre and Hema Ahuja have been arrested and are likely to be produced before the court today. Mehre and Ahuja were arrested on Tuesday. 

The Agripada Police Station on Sunday had lodged cases against the three senior doctors including that of ragging, IT Act, Atrocities Act and abetment of suicide among others.

The three doctors, Hema Ahuja, 28, Bhakti Mehere, 26, and Ankita Khandelwal, 27, said in their bail plea that they were not even aware of the victim's caste and had only professional interaction with her.

Hours after they moved the court, one of them, Mehra, however, was arrested after initial interrogation by the police.

The trio, attached to Nair Hospital at Agripada in South Mumbai, has been booked under the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, the Anti-Ragging Act and the IT Act and section 306 (abetment to suicide) of the IPC.

In their bail application, which is likely to come up for hearing on Wednesday, the doctors claimed they had not caused any harm to the victim, Dr Payal Tadvi, 26, who allegedly hanged herself on May 22.

Also read: Mumbai doctor's suicide: Dean replaces unit head of gynaecology abruptly

The three of them attached to the BLY Nair Hospital are accused of persistently harassing Payal Tadvi, their junior who belonged to the Scheduled Tribe community.

The accused doctors have meanwhile written to the Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD) to ensure a "fair probe" into the issue. They have denied charges of harassment and "ragging" levelled against them by Payal's family and have asked the doctor's body to give them a fair chance to clear the allegations against them.

Further, their letter to MARD on Monday asks: "Guys we have been working together. Do you really think we could do ragging and caste discrimination? We just want you all to understand our side and help us get justice against these allegations which are levelled."

Meanwhile, the National Commission for Women (NCW) has taken suo moto cognisance of the matter and written to the hospital administration, requesting to appraise with the action taken in the case.

"The NCW is deeply disturbed...It is a matter of serious concern," NCW chairperson Rekha Sharma wrote in the letter addressed to hospital director Dr Avinas Supe.

On Monday, the Maharashtra State Commission for Women had issued a notice to Dean of the Hospital seeking a report on the action taken in the case.

Also read: Mumbai doctor's suicide: Did the accused remove her suicide note, ask family

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Edited by mid-day online desk with inputs from Agencies

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