NEW DELHI: Late post graduate medical student from Mumbai, Payal Salman Tadvi had left behind a handwritten note before committing suicide in her hostel room on May 22.
The Crime Branch has claimed to have found crucial piece of evidence, purportedly written by Dr Tadvi during forensic examination of the device. The letter that went missing till now was written on medical case papers in English.
According to the crime branch officials, the original note has been destroyed by the three accused who were the first to reached Payal’s room after her body was taken away.
The trio, Hema Ahuja, Ankita Khandelwal and Bhakti Mehre were booked under the charges of abetment of suicide and various provisions of the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act in connection with this.
A senior Crime Branch officer told The Indian Express, “We will be seeking their custody to find out how they disposed the original suicide note… CCTV footage showed they had spent five minutes in Tadvi’s room after her suicide… We suspect they knew we could find evidence against them on her phone. Hence, they tried damaging it,” he said.
The police have also found WhatsApp chat messages on Tadvi’s cellphone apart from the note. “We will soon file a chargesheet. Since the accused tried to destroy the cellphone, we will also charge them under Section 201 of the IPC, pertaining to destruction of evidence,” said an officer.
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Speaking to ANI, Advocate Gunaratna Sadavarte, appearing for Dr Tadvi said: “Today, it has been proved that three accused doctors in the case were aware of the suicide note and tried to destroy it. The forensic department has confirmed that screenshot of the note has been recovered from Payal’s phone.”
The counsel said that the suicide note not only mentions the casteist abuses, but also the names the three accused senior women doctors, who have been arrested in the case.
“Police have initiated probe under section 201 (destruction of evidence) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC),” said Sadavarte.
He added, “The suicide note not only mentions about the casteist abuses but also names the three senior women doctors arrested in the case. Police have initiated action under section 201 (destruction of evidence) of India Penal Code.”
Tadvi, 26, who belonged to the Scheduled Tribe community, ended her life in her hostel room at BYL Nair Hospital here on May 22, allegedly after facing harassment and discrimination from her seniors due to her caste.
The post-mortem examination report of Tadavi’s death revealed the evidence of a ligature mark on her neck.
Her family alleged that three of her seniors ragged and hurled casteist abuses at her, forcing her to take the extreme step.
With ANI inputs