The Mumbai Police on Tuesday made its first arrest in connection with the death of Dr Payal Tadvi, The Hindu reported. Tadvi committed suicide on May 22 after facing alleged casteist abuse while working at a hospital in Mumbai. Dr Bhakti Mehere was detained earlier in the day for questioning, reports said.

Mehere is one of the three senior resident doctors at the hospital accused of harassing Tadvi when she joined Topiwala National Medical College for pursuing post-graduation in gynaecology in May 2018. The other two doctors were identified as Hema Ahuja and Ankita Khandelwal. The student committed suicide at Nair hospital, which is attached to the Topiwala National Medical College.

The arrest comes a day after it was reported that the three doctors were absconding. Earlier on Tuesday, the doctors had moved a sessions court in Mumbai seeking anticipatory bail. According to media reports, the bail plea will be heard on Wednesday.

Ahuja and Khandelwal are still absconding, Times Now reported.

Meanwhile, the National Commission for Women took suo motu cognisance of the case and issued a notice to the director of the hospital to investigate the matter and provide action-taken report to the commission, Tiranga TV reported.

The three doctors had written to the Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors demanding a “fair inquiry”.

“Based on the findings of our preliminary inquiry, we have suspended them,” the association’s General Secretary Dr Deepak Mundhe said. “Now, they have written to us seeking our help in this case. In view of the seriousness of matter, we shall now sensitise the reservations category students both in the junior and senior levels on such issues.”

Meanwhile, an anti-ragging committee has interrogated nearly 30 people, including resident doctors, professors, nurses, and other staff of BYL Nair Hospital and the medical college which is attached to it, The Hindu reported on Tuesday. The panel has not interrogated the three accused doctors as they were absconding on Monday.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has suspended the licences of four doctors – Head of Gynaecology Department Dr Yi Ching Ling, and the three accused resident doctors, DNA reported on Tuesday.

Protests in parts of Maharashtra

Meanwhile, two protest rallies were held in Thane and Palghar cities in Maharashtra to demand action against those responsible for driving Tadvi to suicide, PTI reported. The rallies were held under the aegis of an organisation called Shramajivi Sanghatana.

The demonstrators met district collectors at Thane and Palghar and handed them memorandums demanding strong action against the guilty.