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Medico's suicide: 3 women doctors sent to custody (2nd Lead)


IANS Mumbai
A Mumbai Special Court on Wednesday remanded till May 31 three women doctors arrested in connection with suicide of medico Payal Tadvi, a law official said.
Bhakti Meher, Hema Ahuja and Ankita Khandelwal were arrested on Tuesday and Wednesday, said Nitin Satpute, lawyer for the Tadvi family, Nitin Satpute.
Arguing for the remand, Satpute told Additional Sessions Judge R.M. Sadrani there was a possibility of the case being one of murder since some injury marks were found on the victim's body, including her neck and private parts, as per the preliminary autopsy report.
He said the alleged "ligature" marks, as mentioned in the autopsy report, pointed to Tadvi being killed and accordingly all the accused should be booked for murder.
The police also sought custodial interrogation of the three to know whether there was any suicide note left by Tadvi and if it was misplaced or hidden by them.
The prosecution said the police had seized the mobile phones of the accused and they needed more time to recover their WhatsApp chat messages with the victim, among other things.
However, Aabad Ponda and Sandeep Bali, appearing for the three doctors, argued that the (accused) medicos were unaware of the deceased's caste and she was only pulled up for her performance without any intentions to harm her.
Moreover, they said the room in which Tadvi was found hanging on May 22 was locked from inside and nobody had access to it. And hence some family issue could have led to her suicide, they argued.
The Indian Medical Association (Maharashtra State) expressed its condolences on Tadvi's unnatural death, according to IMA President Hozie Kapadia and Secretary Suhas Pingle.
"IMA condemns this incident and demands a detailed inquiry, and justice for late Payal Tadvi," they said, adding her death was an "irrecoverable loss for the society".
A second year Post-Graduate student of Gynaecology, Tadvi, 26, allegedly hanged herself in her hostel room on May 22 at the government-run BYL Nair Hospital.
Her family claimed she was driven to suicide by casteist remarks on her Muslim tribal background and other forms of personal and professional harassment.
Soon after the suicide, the three main accused -- Meher, Ahuja and Khandelwal -- absconded. Suspended by the Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors earlier this week, they were later suspended by the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation, which runs the hospital.
The BMC has suspended their as well as the Head of Department Yi Ching Ling's medical licences for alleged abetment of Tadvi's suicide.

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First Published: May 29 2019 | 6:32 PM IST

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