Mumbai : For harassing Dr Payal Tadvi and abetting her suicide, the Mumbai Police has arrested Ankita Khandelwal and Hema Ahuja, the other two senior doctors, on Wednesday morning, of Mumbai’s BYL Nair Hospital.
While one doctor, Bhakti Mehere, was arrested on Tuesday after initial interrogation, the two other accused – Hema Ahuja and Ankita Khandelwal – were absconding. “Ahuja and Khandelwal were arrested in the early hours of Wednesday by the Agripada police in central Mumbai,” a senior police official told PTI. They will be produced in a court on Wednesday, he added.
The three doctors were charged under the Atrocities Act, the Anti-Ragging Act and the IT Act and Section 306 (abetment to suicide) of the Indian Penal Code.
Dr Tadvi’s husband Salman and mother Abida Salim have demanded “strictest action” against the three doctors. Salman Tadvi alleges that the three doctors ragged and humiliated his wife on WhatsApp because she belonged to a Scheduled Tribe.
“She was picked on for being lower caste and was ragged quite a bit by her seniors. The seniors said they will not let her study. They used to humiliate her on WhatsApp too.”
“We want the government to intervene. The police are not taking any action. It is possible that Payal was murdered by the three women doctors.”
Dr Tadvi’s mother Abeda said that “Payal used to tell me about the torture which she was facing by her seniors on petty issues. They threw files on her face in front of patients.”
The three women doctors have asked an association of resident doctors in a letter that they be given a “fair probe” and “justice”.
“This is not the way to do an investigation through police force and media pressure, without hearing our side,” the three doctors said in the letter to the Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD).
The resident doctors’ association has suspended the three doctors. A senior official from the association told PTI that they had credible inputs over the allegations against the three doctors and assured full co-operation with the police.
Protestors, including the parents of Dr Tadvi, staged a demonstration outside the hospital. Members of Dalit and tribal organisations, including the Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi, also took part in the protest.
Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad expressed solidarity with the protestors as well, saying he would visit Maharashtra if needed to “fight for justice for our younger sister”.
The National Commission for Women has written to the director of the hospital, requesting an investigation and to inform the commission of action taken, reported news agency ANI.
The state women’s commission has also served a notice to the hospital, demanding a reply from the authorities within eight days.