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Delhi: Doctor found dead in ICU of Maharaja Agrasen Hospital

The body of a 28-year-old woman doctor was found in the neurology department of Maharaja Agrasen Hospital in west Delhi’s Punjabi Bagh in the early hours of Sunday, police said.

A syringe jabbed in her left arm, doors of the room locked from inside and footage from CCTV cameras have prompted police to suspect that the doctor may have killed herself.

Monika Bhardwaj, deputy commissioner of police (west), identified the woman as Astha Munjal, who was posted at the Maharaja Agrasen Hospital. She had married a fellow doctor currently practising at another hospital in east Delhi.

The couple was anaesthetics and were married a year ago. They lived in central Delhi’s Pusa Road.

According to the DCP, Munjal’s parents have told investigators in their statement that they have no reason to suspect her husband. “They have mentioned harassment at the hospital, but we are yet to ascertain the nature of harassment or the people possibly behind it,” said the DCP.

No suicide note was recovered from the spot so far.

The hospital, in a statement, said that they were cooperating with the investigators and have constituted a five-member internal committee to investigate the matter.

“She was very cooperative, cheerful and an intelligent doctor. She never had any kind of issue with any of her colleagues or any other hospital staff,” read a part of the statement issued by Pooja Sharma Kalra, media spokesperson of the hospital.

Munjal was found dead in the doctors’ cabin in the neurology ward of the hospital’s intensive care unit at 5.15 am on Sunday. “Someone had knocked on the room’s door at 4.30am. When she did not respond to the knocks, the hospital’s guards broke it open around 5.15 am,” said the DCP.

Inside, Munjal was found lying dead with a syringe jabbed in her left arm. Her mobile phone and bag were found next to her, said the officer. She had had a video call with her husband at 10.30 pm after which she had dinner, the police so far have established.

The CCTV footage showed she had been working till 12.15 am after which she entered the room at 12.18 am, said the DCP. “The CCTV footage has indicated no role of an outsider. The door was also locked from the inside,” said the officer.

The post-mortem will be conducted by a team of doctors on Monday. Since the couple was married for less than seven years, a sub-divisional magistrate will probe the death.

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