New Delhi: Photos of the suicide note left behind by Dr Payal Tadvi, who killed herself allegedly due to caste discrimination she faced at her Mumbai hospital, have been recovered from her mobile phone. The absence of a suicide note has been a hindrance in the police’s case that the second year post-graduation student had killed herself on May 22 because of harassment that she faced from three seniors, Hema Ahuja, Ankita Khandelwal and Bhakti Mehere.
The photos were deleted from her phone, but were retrieved by a forensic lab. Police believe that the original note, along with the photos, were destroyed by the accused. Two of the accused spent three minutes in Tadvi’s room, soon after she is believed to have killed herself. The police had earlier presented CCTV footage in court, showing them enter the room. The police claimed they were trying to destroy the suicide note and other evidence.
According to the Mumbai Mirror, the note names the three accused, and documents the harassment and casteist abuse that she faced from them over the past year to intimidate and isolate her at work.
The three seniors, who were arrested on May 28, have claimed Tadvi killed herself because she could not shoulder the “work pressure” of the government-run BYL Nair Hospital.
Forensic experts told the Mumbai Mirror that Tadvi is believed to have taken photos of the note to send it to her mother. However, she did not end up doing so. While Tadvi, who belongs to a Bhil Adivasi Muslim community, had spoken to her mother on the phone shortly before she took her own life, the last call on her phone – 121 second before her death – was from Ahuja.
Ahuja has claimed that she had call to check about certain medicines that Tadvi had given to a patient.
After the Kalina Forensic Science Laboratory informed the Crime Branch about the recovery of the suicide note on Monday, the police share the information with the Bombay high court on Thursday. The Crime Branch was asked by the court to verify the note with the help of handwriting experts.
Bail hearing at Bombay HC
Meanwhile, the high court also heard the bail applications filed by the three accused, adjourning the matter to July 16. Justice Sadhana Jadhav was informed by the prosecution that the investigation into the case will be completed within two weeks.
According to LiveLaw, the court also observed that the police should have informed the Medical Council of India and the Medical Council of Maharashtra about the arrest of Khandelwal, Ahuja and Mehere.
The accused have been charged under various sections including abetment of suicide, anti-ragging laws and SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
Justice Jadhav has also issued a notice to Tadvi’s mother, the complainant in the case.