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Journalist suicide: Cop witness to incident shifted, doctor couple booked

Friends and family members told The Indian Express that Tiwari was under severe stress due to an extortion case filed against her by the couple, who alleged that she had asked for a bribe to not publish the story.

Written by Sandali Tiwari , Pritha Chatterjee | Faridabad |
May 4, 2016 3:04:56 am
Family members of Pooja Tiwari at the mortuary. (Express Photo: Manoj Kumar) Family members of Pooja Tiwari at the mortuary. (Express Photo: Manoj Kumar)

A day after Pooja Tiwari, a 28-year-old journalist from Faridabad, allegedly committed suicide, police registered a case against a doctor couple and a quack who were the subjects of a sting operation conducted by her on alleged medical termination of pregnancies (MTPs).

The sole eyewitness in the case — Amit Vashisht, a friend of Tiwari’s and a Haryana police officer — has been shifted to the director general of police’s office in Panchkula till the enquiry is completed, Faridabad Police Commissioner Hanif Qureshi told The Indian Express. “Since there have been some allegations against the officer, he has been moved from his present post till further orders,” he said.

Friends and family members told The Indian Express that Tiwari was under severe stress due to an extortion case filed against her by the couple, who alleged that she had asked for a bribe to not publish the story.

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Police said on Sunday night, Vashisht had visited Tiwari at her residence. Vashisht said Tiwari was “disturbed” by the case, and they spent hours discussing it. “She was drinking heavily, so I tried to calm her down. She wanted my help,” he said.

reVashisht said at 1.30 am, Tiwari rushed out to the balcony next to the living room. “She flung herself across the railing, but held on to the grill. I tried to help her… I caught hold of her and held on to her for about 7-8 seconds. I think she tried to climb up, but she was inebriated and though I tried my best, I could not hold on,” he said.

Tiwari’s brother Saurabh, who arrived in Faridabad said, “She was disturbed as she did not get enough support from her organisation and from the journalist community. She was fighting alone and she was not well. She had started drinking and we were all worried,” he said.

Her father Ravi Tiwari said he found it hard to believe his daughter had committed suicide. “She was going through a lot. But she was a tough girl… she knew how to fight for herself. I don’t believe she could have killed herself,” he said.

In an audio clip that surfaced Tuesday, Tiwari and Vashisht can purportedly be heard arguing. Qureshi said the authenticity of the clip was yet to be verified. Vashisht said, “So what if we were arguing? I have given my statement to police.”

Dr Anil Goyal, who along with his wife Archana Goyal was the subject of the sting operation, claimed he had had no contact with Tiwari since he filed the complaint. “She had come with a man, who she claimed was her colleague… she said a quack had told her my wife, a gynaecologist, was handing out MTP kits,” said Dr Goyal.

“When we told them that we did not know the quack, and my wife was authorised to do MTPs on medical grounds, they asked for a bribe of Rs 2 lakh for withholding my wife’s name. We refused… when we found out they had published the story, we registered a complaint on the grounds of defamation and extortion,” he said.

“We told the commissioner we would cooperate in the investigation,” said Dr Goyal.

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