Dalit MBBS female intern allegedly died by suicide due to caste discrimination

Another fateful; incident of death by suicide of a Dalit student in a professional institute has come to the fore but no relief or redressal mechanism seems forthcoming

Dalit suicide

A Dalit MBBS intern working at the SGPC-run Sri Guru Ram Dass Institute of Medical Science and Research in Amritsar, Punjab allegedly died by suicide on March 9. It has been alleged by her family that she faced caste discrimination. Her mother, Kamlesh Rani has filed an FIR at the local police station in Vallah while alleging that her daughter, Pompesh, was subjected to discrimination and casteist slurs by her colleagues and two professors as well. The FIR has been filed against 10 people, including 4 students and the two professors.

Kamlesh has alleged that the accused used to threaten her daughter that they will not let her become a doctor. There were two complaints made to the Principal of the institute, but the same were never heeded and no action was taken.

The FIR has been registered under section 306 (abetment of suicide) of IPC and section 3 of Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities Act).

Deputy Commissioner of Police (Investigations) Mukhwinder Singh Bhullar told The Tribune, “The family has lodged a complaint against several doctors among others and we are investigating their role. Whoever is found responsible for the incident during the probe will be arrested.”

Some persons have been detained, Mukhwinder Singh Bhullar told Sabrang India. He said it cannot be said they have been arrested and said it was too early to divulge their name and the number of persons who have been detained.

The guidelines and legal framework available for Dalit students has largely failed them. This is not only reflecting in the consistent number of suicides of Dalit and tribal students but also in the feeble manner in which these guidelines are implemented in these professional educational institutes. A detailed analysis of the failing guidelines put in place at educational institutions and the continuing culture of caste-based discrimination may be read here.

Interestingly, while the angle of caste discrimination has been denied by IIT-Bombay in the suicide of Dalit student, Darshan Solanki by the committee set up the college, a mental health survey carried out in June 2022 by the SC/ST Students’ Cell found that caste discrimination is a “central reason” for the mental health problems faced by reserved category students on campus. The survey also found that almost one-fourth of the SC/ST students who took part in the survey suffered from mental health problems while 7.5 percent of them faced “acute mental health problems and exhibited a tendency for self-harm”, reported Indian Express.


How long will Dalits and Adivasis students succumb to violent caste discrimination before effective measures are created?

Systematic Entrenched Caste Discrimination in IITs is depriving young students right to dignity and life: PUCL

Mumbai Dharna for Darshan Solanki makes calls for law against caste discrimination



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