After the Medical College where tribal doctor Payal Tadvi, who committed suicide studied, confirmed that she was subjected to “extreme harassment”, Maharashtra government-appointed panel stated in a report that she was bullied but there is no conclusive evidence of caste-based harassment.
Tadvi, whose body was found, hanging from the roof of her room on May 22, studied at the TN Topiwala National Medical College in Mumbai where she and her family had complained against three of her seniors for bullying her on the fact that she was a tribal Muslim woman. These three doctors who are under police arrest are identified as Dr Hema Ahuja and Dr Bhakti Mehar and Dr Ankita Khandelwal.
The government panel stressed on immense workload and long working hours as reasons leading to Tadvi’s death. The medical education department has the 16-page report currently and it will present it to Medical Education Minister Girish Mahajan in a few days. The panel heard the statements of 32 people, including doctors, hostel inmates, family members of Tadvi and parents of the three accused doctors.
The report holds the head of the gynecology and obstetrics department where Tadvi studied responsible for neglecting the distress that led to her committing suicide. But it hasn’t yet recommended any action against the department head or the three final-year students, The Indian Express reported.
The report submitted by the anti-ragging committee of the college relied on statements of 30 people, including Payal’s family, colleagues, and staff and concluded that the three accused doctors harassed Tadvi to death. They have been booked under relevant provisions of the Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, the Anti-Ragging Act, the IT Act and Section 306 (abetment to suicide) of the IPC.
The report holds the head of the gynecology and obstetrics department where Tadvi studied responsible for neglecting the distress that led to her committing suicide. But it hasn’t yet recommended any action against the department head or the three final-year students.
Tadvi, who hails from Jalgaon district of Maharashtra, joined the PG course on May 1, 2018. She did her MBBS from the Government Medical College in Miraj then she went to Sangli for a year for her internship before joining the PG course at the Topiwala National Medical College. When she had just joined the PG course and shifted to Mumbai, she was asked to share her room with Dr Ahuja and Dr Mehar. “The two began harassing her soon,” Tadvi’s husband, Dr Salman, said. “The two doctors would go to the toilet and wipe their feet on her mattress and litter it. When she would be away, they would taunt her that she was spending time with her husband,” he said.
It has also been reported that Tadvi’s mother, Abeda had alerted the head of the department of the bullying that was being done by the three doctors against her daughter but no action was taken. “My daughter was extremely strong. But this constant abuse eventually broke her. The three accused should be punished so that it sets an example for others who traumatise and torture students like Payal,” Abeda had said.
Picture credit- Twitter/ Vishal Sonara