Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis ordered the Mumbai Police Crime Branch to probe the death of Dr Payal Tadvi, after her family members met him in Mumbai on Thursday. Tadvi’s family had urged Fadnavis to hand over the probe to either to the Crime Branch or the CBI.
The Agripada police, which was investigating the case till now, handed over the case papers to the Crime Branch in the evening. Crime Branch ACP Netaji Bhopale will now be investigating the case.
Mumbai Police spokesperson DCP Manjunath Singe said, “Considering the seriousness and importance of the case related to Dr Tadvi’s death, the investigation in the case has been transferred to the Crime Branch.” It will be seeking the custody of the three accused resident doctors when they are produced before a court on Friday.
So far, the police have recorded statements of several junior and senior doctors of Nair hospital, who, contrary to what the accused had alleged, have claimed that Tadvi was good at her work.
“They have said that while they were all under intense pressure due to the heavy work load, the three doctors did harass Tadvi,” an officer said. Three roommates of Tadvi have also confirmed that the three arrested doctors — Dr Bhakti Mehare, Dr Ankita Khandelwal and Dr Hema Ahuja — would harass her, an officer said.
The three accused have told investigators that it is their responsibility to get work done from their juniors. They have alleged that it was the poor quality of work done by Tadvi and another doctor, Snehal Shinde, which made them scold them.
Besides doctors and roommates, the police have also recorded the statements of Dr Ramesh Barmal, the Dean of Topiwala college attached to BYL Nair hospital; cleaners who worked in gynaecology department and gynaecology department head Dr S D Shirodkar and unit head Dr Y I Ching Ling.
Dr Salman Tadvi, the husband of the deceased, had earlier told the police that along with Ling, the family had also approached Shirodkar, which the latter has denied. While Ling has told the police that she had received a verbal complaint from Tadvi’s family about the harassment, Shirodkar has denied having received any oral or written complaint about the alleged harassment from the family.
The police said that so far, they have been able to establish the order in which the incidents took place soon after the suicide. “Since Tadvi was missing for a few hours, everyone was looking for her. Dr Mehare came to her room and found it locked. She suspected something amiss after trying to take a peek from bottom of the door. She then informed other doctors and called security guards, who eventually broke open the door to find Tadvi hanging,” an officer said.