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Mumbai doctor hangs self after casteist slurs by seniors

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Mumbai, May 27: A 26-year-old doctor committed suicide in a government-run hostel of the BYL Nair Hospital in Mumbai central on May 22.

She had hung herself after facing harassment at the hands of three senior doctors. The police have booked three female senior docs named Hema Ahuja, Bhakti Mahere and Ankita Khandelwal for the incident. They have been currently suspended. However, none of them were arrested yet.

Mumbai doctor hangs self after casteist slurs by seniors

Payal, a second-year Post Graduate student belonged to the Adivasi Tadvi Bhil community, a scheduled tribe.

Payal's mother had reportedly lodged a formal complaint with the Nair hospital on May 10, and said no action was taken.

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In a letter going viral on social media, Payal's mother wrote that her three seniors were harassing her, and she was under immense mental stress.

Her mother also said that Payal was being harassed for being a tribal. An official of the TNMC said that the head of the department and the unit head of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Department had been issued showcause notices by the Dean.

The family claimed that even after her death, the Dean wouldn't meet the victim's mother, who often visited the hospital for cancer treatment.

The FIR reports stated that her seniors often threatened Dr Tadvi, 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.

Payal, the family claimed, had complained to lecturers and her hostel warden but no one paid heed.

Taking serious note of the recent suicide of 23-year-old doctor Dr Payal Tadvi, the state government has decided to form a committee at the state level to look into the anti-ragging mechanism in the medical college. The committee will help form fresh anti-ragging guidelines.

Amid the growing clamour, the accused have now written to Maha Association of Resident Doctors, stating "We want college to conduct fair investigation. But this isn't the way to do investigation through police force and media pressure without listening to our side..."

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Payal, who hails from Jalgaon district of Maharashtra, joined the PG course in gynaecology at the Topiwala National Medical College, which is attached to the BYL Nair hospital on May 1, 2018. In December 2018, she informed her family about the harassment by her seniors.

Based on the complaint given by the victim's mother, an FIR has been registered at the Agripada police station. "We are investigating the case. We have recovered few documents. We have registered an FIR against three of her seniors, under sections of atrocity Act, IT Act and anti-ragging Act along with IPC 306," said a senior police officer at the Agripada police station.

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