The Rajasthan Police on Thursday arrested two persons, including a Bharatiya Janata Party leader, on charges of extortion and abetment of suicide of a doctor in Dausa district, reported PTI.
The doctor, Archana Sharma, died by suicide on Tuesday in her home in Lalsot town, where she owned a hospital with her husband. Sharma, an obstetrician, was accused of causing the death of a pregnant woman.
After protests by the woman’s family members, the police had booked Sharma for murder. Her husband had alleged that she was being harassed by senior BJP leaders. She panicked after an first information report was filed and died by suicide, he added.
Outrage erupted across the country following Sharma’s death, with doctors demanding action against those responsible. Private hospitals and nursing homes also suspended their services in Dausa district.
The police arrested BJP leader Jitender Kumar Gothwal and another man identified as Ram Manohar under Sections 306 (abetment of suicide), 384 and 388 (extortion) of the Indian Penal Code.
Gothwal denied the accusations and alleged that he had been falsely implicated in the case at the behest of Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot because he sent a train ticket to Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi to visit the state and see the crime situation, reported ANI.
Gothwal was referring to the alleged gangrape of a minor girl in Dausa district. Five persons, including a Congress MLA’s son, had been booked in the case last week. The police had identified the key accused as Deepak Meena, son of Congress MLA Johari Lal Meena from the Rajgarh Assembly constituency in Alwar district.
“Case was already filed under murder charges against the doctor, and the police do not have any video evidence against me,” Gothwal told ANI.
Meanwhile, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot removed district Superintendent of Police Anil Kumar, suspended Lalsot Station House Officer Ankesh Kumar and put the town’s Deputy Superintendent of Police Shankar Lal under the awaiting posting order status.
On Tuesday, the pregnant woman had died at the private hospital due to post-partum haemorrhage complications, which causes excessive bleeding after giving birth.
The woman’s family members had held a protest outside the hospital and sought action against Sharma.
The Federation of Resident Doctors’ Association India, however, noted that the complication is a “known and established entity and even the best possible efforts by doctors fall short at times”.
The police recovered a suicide note, in which the doctor reportedly wrote, “Perhaps my death will prove that I was not guilty”.