State government taken to task over Dr Payal Tadvi's suicide
Ruling and Opposition leaders alike take the state government to task, asking whether gynaecology student's death must be treated as suicide or as a case of murder
The ruling parties and Opposition members took the state government to task on Tuesday over the suicide of Dr. Payal Tadvi. State medical education minister Girish Mahajan and Minister of State for Home Dr. Ranjit Patil assured that no guilty person would be spared. They added that preventive measures are being taken in colleges across the state and the anti-ragging law is being made stringent.
BJP's Atul Bhatkhalkar raised the sensitive issue through a calling attention notice in the lower house. He was supported by members across parties who demanded strict action to prevent such deaths. Some members demanded that the three accused doctors — Dr. Tadvi's seniors who allegedly ragged her and discriminated against her over her caste — be tried for murder.
Mahajan and Patil assured that no guilty person would be spared. They also said that preventive measures are being taken in colleges across the state and the anti-ragging law is being made stringent.
Suicide or murder?
Bhatkhalkar said the recommendations made in the report by the anti-ragging committee had not been implemented by the Topiwala national medical college in particular, and other professional institutions, public and private, in general. He demanded a stringent anti-ragging law and asked if the equal opportunity section had been made available at the workplace, in this case the medical college and hospital where Dr Tadvi worked as a resident doctor pursuing her MD in gynaecology.
He also asked, "Will the police book the accused under section 302 of the Indian Penal Code [for murder]?" His Shiv Sena colleague Sunil Prabhu called for a probe to find out whether the death was a suicide or murder.
Need preventive measures
Congress MLA Varsha Gaikwad claimed Dr. Tadvi and her family had complained against the caste-based harassment and ragging multiple times, but the plaints were either ignored or the family was pressured into withdrawing the grievance. Solapur City MLA Praniti Shinde joined in to question the government. Her Congress colleague Amit Deshmukh wanted preventive measures such as CCTVs, alarms and surprise inspections of the facilities. Congress group leader Vijay Wadettiwar asked if the transfers and suspensions of the unit head and head of the college’s department of gynaecology would serve any purpose.
Responding to all the questions, Dr. Patil said they are awaiting the anti-ragging committee’s report. He added that the accused have been arrested and are being questioned by the police. Mahajan said a stricter law would be formulated very soon.
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