Recently, a 28-year-old journalist Pooja Tiwari, who was working for Iamin, allegedly committed suicide under mysterious circumstances.
Just a few days before through a sting operation she had exposed Dr Archana Goel, Sr. Gynaecologist running a private hospital, Dr Anil Goel, and Dr Dhawal, who allegedly provided patients with Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) kits.
After the expose, an FIR was lodged against her by Dr Anil Goel who alleged that she demanded money from the doctors. Following the FIR, Pooja was also suspended by her company.
When contacted, a source told TYNews, “She was suspended after the FIR was filed against her. They called her to head office in Mumbai for clarification.” This is a snapshot of Pooja’s WhatsApp conversation with a friend. Here she alleges that Dr Goel used his connections to get the FIR registered against her.
Further, her friends told TYNews that she got various threats from local goons and was also harassed by the local police.
On the night of May 1, in an inebriated state, Pooja allegedly jumped from the fifth floor of a building as she couldn’t handle what was going on in her life. But is that the real reason?
A friend, who was very close to her, said, “She has been an investigative journalist for nine years. She is not the person who will commit suicide.” Another friend, who works with a media organisation, seconded that: “She was a fighter.” On the day Pooja allegedly committed suicide, two of her friends, Amreen and Amit Vashisht, were present in the flat with her. They are supposedly the eyewitnesses in the case and Amit is himself a Haryana police officer.
But, a journalist informed that in an FIR which was lodged following Pooja’s suicide, Amit’s name wasn’t mentioned.
He said, “She was depressed due to what was going on. On top that, her friend Amit raised questions on her character, which was humiliating. Though Amit was an eyewitness, his name wasn’t mentioned in the FIR. Amreen did give the statement. However, she kept changing it.” He added that Amit used his powers and may have also pressurised Amreen to make up a different story than what had actually happened. Amit has been shifted to the director general of police’s office in Panchkula till the enquiry is completed. An RTI activist, who has been a friend of Pooja, said, “I went to meet Amreen. But the local police said we can’t do that. Further, Amreen also refused to speak.”
Pooja’s friends have also alleged that local police isn’t investigating the case properly; they didn’t even look for fingerprints on the balcony from where Pooja fell and also didn’t cease her phone or laptop.
One of the friends said, “All evidences were cleared by either Amit, Amreen or maybe both. Police didn’t take a look at the CCTV footage. They didn’t conduct the post mortem properly. Her phone wasn’t ceased. How is that possible? Who is police trying to save? Her brother told me data from her mobile phone was deleted.”
Amidst the controversy surrounding Pooja’s alleged suicide case, it is to be noted that her fate could have been different if her organisation supported her.
The journalist friend says, “A woman living on her own in the city, working to bring truth and then abandoned by her organisation. This is so unprofessional.” However, the organisation released a statement, saying, “She joined the iamin team in September 2015. She was recently put under suspension as part of the standard operating process. But she was assured all the required support regarding the case.”
And, what about the role of police? Is it to protect or harass the victim?
The friends added, “The FIR wasn’t registered by SHO. The doctor straight away went to higher authorities. In this scenario, from where would have she sought help?”