- Payal Tadvi, who worked at a state-run hospital, hanged herself on May 22
- She committed suicide allegedly after facing caste slurs from seniors
- Her family has demanded "strictest action"
Three doctors accused of driving a junior to suicide at a state-run hospital in Mumbai have been arrested and sent to police custody till May 31.
Payal Tadvi, who worked a gynecologist at BYL Nair Hospital, hanged herself on May 22 allegedly after facing caste slurs from her senior colleagues.
One of the accused doctors, Bhakti Mehre was arrested on Tuesday after interrogation. While, Hema Ahuja and Ankita Khandelwal were caught early this morning from Pune and Mumbai, a police officer said.
The accused doctors have denied the allegations of Payal's mother Abeda Tadvi, who claimed that her daughter had committed suicide after suffering months of torture by the trio.
Dr Tadvi's husband Salman and mother Abida Salim have demanded "strictest action" against the three doctors. Mr Tadvi alleges that the three doctors ragged and humiliated his wife on WhatsApp because she belonged to a Scheduled Tribe.
"She was picked on for being lower caste and was ragged quite a bit by her seniors. The seniors said they will not let her study. They used to humiliate her on WhatsApp too," Salman Tadvi told NDTV.
"We want the government to intervene. The police are not taking any action. It is possible that Payal was murdered by the three women doctors," Mr Tadvi was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.
Dr Tadvi's mother Abeda said her daughter had begged her not to give a written complaint against her seniors as it would impact her career. Payal, according to her mother, was harassed over "petty issues" by the doctors who "threw files at her" in front of her patients.
"Payal used to tell me about the torture which she was facing by her seniors on petty issues. They threw files on her face in front of patients," Ms Abeda was quoted by PTI as saying.
The three women doctors have asked an association of resident doctors in a letter that they be given a "fair probe" and "justice".
"This is not the way to do an investigation through police force and media pressure, without hearing our side," the three doctors said in the letter to the Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD).
The resident doctors' association has suspended the three doctors, reported PTI. A senior official from the association told PTI that they had credible inputs over the allegations against the three doctors and assured full co-operation with the police.
On Tuesday, protestors including the parents of Dr Tadvi, staged a demonstration outside the hospital.
Members of Dalit and tribal organisations, including the Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi, also took part in the protest.
Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad expressed solidarity with the protestors as well, saying he would visit Maharashtra if needed to "fight for justice for our younger sister".
The National Commission for Women has written to the director of the hospital, requesting an investigation and to inform the commission of action taken, reported news agency ANI.
The state women's commission has also served a notice to the hospital, demanding a reply from the authorities within eight days.
The three doctors were charged under the Atrocities Act, the Anti-Ragging Act and the IT Act and Section 306 (abetment to suicide) of the Indian Penal Code.
With inputs from agencies