A 52-year-old senior radiologist at Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) Hospital allegedly committed suicide by hanging herself from a ceiling fan at her New Delhi residence on Wednesday afternoon. The woman, Dr Poonam Vohra, left behind a two-line suicide note: “I was humiliated and harassed by these doctors,” followed by the names of three doctors, including a woman, who are a part of the radiology department at the hospital.
Repeated calls and messages to the medical superintendent and the RML spokesperson went unanswered.
“She was the chairperson of the Annual Confidential Report (ACR) committee at the hospital, and of the three names mentioned in her suicide note, two are members of the committee. Together, they were reviewing a case. In her suicide note, she has alleged that they humiliated and harassed her,” said Madhur Verma, DCP (New Delhi).
When contacted, the woman’s husband Chiranjiv Vohra claimed that “she did mention in conversation that she was being humiliated and harassed by her colleagues at the hospital”.
An official at the hospital said that she was “very senior in the department, and was pegged as probably the next head of the department”. A colleague said she was at the hospital on Tuesday, and seemed “normal”.
Vohra was on leave on Wednesday, and her husband and their two children were not home at the time of the incident. According to police, when her husband returned home at 2.30 pm, he realised that the door was locked from the inside, and no one was opening despite repeatedly ringing the bell. “He then broke open the door and saw her body hanging from a fan in their bedroom. After he took down the body, he made a PCR call about the incident,” said Verma.
Police rushed to Vohra’s government employee flat at North Avenue, following which the district forensic team reached and lifted fingerprints from the spot. “As of now, we are conducting proceedings under section 174 of the CrPC, and have started investigating the matter from all possible angles. Appropriate action will be taken after conducting a proper inquiry,” said Verma.
The woman’s body has been preserved in the mortuary and the post-mortem will be conducted at Lady Hardinge hospital on Thursday.
According to police, her husband told them that she had been feeling low for the last 15 days and that he had encouraged her to report the matter to the medical superintendent.
Police are verifying her call detail records to ascertain who she spoke to before the incident.