Dr Payal's Handwriting Matches With That In Suicide Note, Strengthens Evidence Against Accused: Police
A report by the police handwriting expert has confirmed that the three-page suicide note found on Dr Payal Tadvi’s mobile phone was written by the deceased.
Payal, a junior resident doctor at BYL Nair hospital, had clicked the pictures of the note before committing suicide on May 22.
Talking to The Indian Express, a senior official said that report from an analyst confirmed that the handwriting in the photograph of the suicide note in Tadvi’s phone matched with the writing samples. “The three-page suicide note, written in English on medical documents, is strong evidence documented by Payal herself against the three doctors. With the verification, we believe it is irrefutable,” the official said.
Following Payal’s death, three senior doctors of the hospital, Hema Ahuja (28), Bhakti Mehare (26) and Ankita Khandelwal (27) were booked on charges of the abetment of suicide and caste-based discrimination. Subsequently, the three doctors were arrested on May 28-19.
Earlier, a trial court had rejected the bail application of the three accused on June 24. Following which they appealed in the Bombay High Court against the trial court’s order. The hearing for the same will come up in the court later this week.
The 1,203-page report, which includes the suicide note, accusing the three doctors was submitted by the city crime branch before a special SC/ ST Act court on July 23. The doctors have been charged under multiple sections including abetment of suicide, destruction of evidence and common intent under IPC, Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, Maharashtra Prohibition of Ragging Act and Information Technology Act.
The chargesheet, which is based on statements of nearly 180 witnesses, including those of Tadvi’s family members and colleagues, stated that there is strong evidence against the accused doctors.
In one of the statements, Payal’s friend, Snehal, told police that Payal was harassed by the accused because she had got admission under the Scheduled Tribes category. Tadvi, a resident of Jalgaon, was a member of the Bhil Tadvi community.
The chargesheet further states that, on the day of the suicide, Tadvi was allegedly shouted at in the presence of patients and other staff members.
The chargesheet also includes screenshots of WhatsApp conversations from the group named “reminders”. In the group, which had both accused and Tadvi along with others as members, the accused doctors can be seen humiliating the deceased.
The police have claimed that the accused, wary of being caught, went to Payal’s room soon after her body was removed. “We have attached the CCTV footage of the eighth floor corridor outside Payal’s room, where the three accused are allegedly seen entering her room after she was shifted to the trauma room,” an officer said.