Doctor's suicide after casteist slurs: Women's panel notice to dean

Doctor's suicide after casteist slurs: MSCW notice to dean
Representational Image.

Mumbai: Amid growing protests by students and tribal organisations over the suicide of a doctor in a state-run hospital, allegedly after casteist slurs, the state women's commission Monday asked the dean to submit a report in the case.

In a letter to the dean of the Mumbai civic body-run BYL Nair Hospital Ramesh Bharmal, the Maharashtra State Commission for Women sought to know whether the Anti-ragging Act was effectively implemented in the institution.

The report, which also seeks information on "lack of communication" between the administration and students, is to be submitted within eight days, the Commission said.

Meanwhile, the three women doctors at the hospital, accused of driving their 26-year-old colleague to suicide after tormenting her with casteist slurs, have sought a "fair probe" in the case.

In a letter to the Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD), the three - Ankita Khandelwal, Hema Ahuja and Bhakti Mehare - said they want the college to conduct a fair investigation in the matter and "give justice" to them.

"This is not the way to do an investigation through the police force and media pressure, without hearing our side," the three doctors said in the letter.

MARD has suspended the three doctors.

A senior MARD official said, We have credible inputs that the three doctors made casteist remarks against Dr Payal Tadvi, who allegedly committed suicide. We will cooperate with the police for further investigations.

To prevent such incidents, MARD has decided to organise sensitisation programmes for second and third-year undergraduate medical students, the official said.

The FIR filed after the second year PG student ended her life, stated that her seniors often threatened her, saying she wouldn't be allowed into operation theatres or allowed to perform deliveries. She was also mocked for being a tribal on WhatsApp groups.

Tadvi committed suicide on May 22. Her family has alleged that the doctors taunted her for belonging to a scheduled tribe.

The hospital's anti-ragging committee is expected to submit a report on suicide. The administration has issued notices to the head of the department and the unit head of the obstetrics and gynaecology department.

The three doctors have been booked under the Atrocities Act, the Anti-Ragging Act and the IT Act and Section 306 (abetment to suicide) of the IPC.

Tadvi's mother Abeda Tadvi said from her hometown in Jalgaon district of north Maharashtra that her daughter had called her up on May 22 about her alleged harassment.

In Mumbai, Monday, members of the Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi, All India Democratic Association, Democratic Youth Federation of India and Students Federation of India staged a protest outside the college and hospital.

A tribal organisation has planned a march from the hospital premises to the Agripada police station on Tuesday, to demand arrest of the three doctors.

Holding the Nair hospital administration responsible for the suicide, the organisation has demanded action against the dean.

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