Mumbai, May 30 (IANS) In a significant development, the Mumbai police’s Crime Branch will take over the investigations into the alleged suicide of Mumbai medico Payal S. Tadvi, official sources said here on Thursday.
The development in the sensational case comes a day after the three senior women doctors Bhakti Meher, Hema Ahuja and Ankita Khandelwal – arrested for abetment of suicide and other charges – were sent to police custody till May 31 by a court here.
“Considering the seriousness and importance of the case related to Dr Payal Tadavi’s death, the investigation has been transferred to the Crime Branch,” Mumbai police spokesperson, DCP Manjunath Shinge told IANS.
Tadvi family’s lawyer Nitin Satpute told IANS that they had demanded “given the circumstances of the matter, the case should be taken over by the Crime Branch”.
“We discussed it with Shiv Sena leader Neelam Gorhe who in turn raised it with Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis,” he said, adding that the family suspects that it could be a case of murder and since the Agripada police have not investigated it properly, they wanted it to be taken over by the CBI.
Earlier, the Tadvi family met Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis with the same demand, especially since the preliminary autopsy reports indicated injury marks on her body for which a detailed probe was necessary, Satpute said.
A Second Year Post-Graduate student of Gynaecology, Tadvi, 26, was found hanging in her hostel room on May 22 at the government-run BYL Nair Hospital.
Following the incident, three doctors were charged under various sections of the Atrocities Act, the Anti-Ragging Act, the IT Act and the Indian Penal Code last Sunday.
A day later, on Monday, May 27, the three doctors were suspended by the Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD) and a day later their medical licences were suspended by the BrihanMmbai Municipal Corporation which runs the hospital.
The BMC also suspended the medical licence of the hospital’s Head of Department, Dr. Yi Ching Ling in the same case.
The Tadvi family has levelled serious allegations against the four senior doctors pertaining to discrimination, professional harassment, torturing her with casteist remarks on her Muslim tribal background and demanded “strictest action” against them.
After their arrests, the Mumbai police seized the mobile phones of the accused trio to recover their WhatsApp chat messages and other details even as their remand will end on Friday.
The Indian Medical Association’s Maharashtra State chapter expressed its heartfelt condolences on the unnatural death of Tadvi, President Dr Hozie Kapadia and Secretary Dr Suhas Pingle said.
“IMA condemns this incident and strongly demands a detailed inquiry of the facts and give justice to the late Dr. Payal Tadvi,” they said, adding her death was an “irrecoverable loss for the society”.
As the issued snowballed into a major controversy, the National Commission for Women and Maharashtra State Women’s Commission took cognizance and sought reports on Tadvi’s suicide from the BMC and the B.Y.L. Nair Hospital.