Mumbai: Five days after 26-year-old Dr Payal Tadvi, a second-year gynaecology resident of BYL Nair Hospital, committed suicide, the civic body has suspended the licence of four doctors –one of whom is the head of a department and the other three are senior medical students — and booked them for abetment of suicide. Agripada Police have also registered a case against Drs Hema Ahuja, Bhakti Mehar and Ankita Khandilwal under relevant sections of the IPC, SC/ST Atrocities Act, Anti-Ragging Act and Information Technology Act, 2000. Sunil Dhamne, deputy municipal commissioner (heal-th), Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, said, the three doctors, and Dr Yi Ching Ling, professor and head of gynaecology department, have been suspended until the completion of inquiry and pending investigation. “We will take a final call when the investigation of their role in the suicide is complete,” he said.
The trio, who are currently absconding, have failed to appear before the anti-ragging committee of the hospital. In a written appeal to the Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD), they have dispelled the charges of racial discrimination, ragging and demanded a fair investigation. They have blamed work pressure in the hospital, which they allege, puts a lot of stress on students. They have also requested a fair investigation. “If the heavy workload is being termed as ‘ragging’, then we all have been ragged or are ragging someone while performing our basic duties. Then all of us are to be blamed, as the entire workload and pressure is always transferred from our seniors from various departments,” read the letter signed by Drs Ahuja, Mehar and Khandilwal.
The letter further read, “The college should conduct a fair investigation. Using police force, media pressure and not listening to our side of the story is not an ideal way (to investigate). Just because we do not know the cause of the suicide, it is unjust to level charges of atrocity (against us).” Dr Ramesh Bharmal, dean, BYL Nair hospital said the letter will make no difference and the trio must appear before the investigating committee. “If the three doctors are innocent, they should appear in front of the committee and submit their responses. The committee, since the time of the incident, has interviewed over 25-30 people including professors, Dr Tadvi’s colleagues, medical support staff and anybody even distantly attached to the incident,” said Dr Bharmal.