A 26-year-old woman doctor named Pamposh, who belonged to the Scheduled Caste, was interning at the Sri Guru Ram Das Institute of Medical Sciences and Research in Vallah, Amritsar. On the intervening night of Wednesday and Thursday, she reportedly died by suicide. Her family members have claimed that her colleagues subjected her to casteist slurs, which led to her suicide. Pamposh was found hanging from the ceiling fan in her hostel room, and the police have registered a case of abetment to suicide under the SC & ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.
Pamposh’s mother has named two professors and four students, among ten persons in her complaint, accusing them of harassing her daughter with casteist slurs. She alleged that several doctors, including two professors, used to threaten and harass her by making casteist slurs, which greatly disturbed her. Pamposh had confided in her mother that the doctors used to threaten her, saying that they would not allow her to complete her MBBS.
The Vallah police have initiated an investigation into the matter, and the accused doctors have been booked under Section 306 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for abetment of suicide and Section 3 of the SC & ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989. The complaint filed against several doctors includes the names of Dr. Bir Davinder Singh, Dr. Pratibha, Professor Swati, Dr. Piyush, Gagandeep Kaur, Prabhnemat, Priyanka, Namisha, Karanbir Singh, and Jimmy Steno.
The incident was discovered when the victim did not respond to her family’s calls for two days. Concerned family members went to the hostel and found her hanging from the ceiling. The police official criticized the hostel and college authorities for their gross negligence for not noticing that she had not come out of her room for two days.
Caste-based discrimination, harassment, and violence are rampant in Indian educational institutions. Pamposh’s case is just the latest example of the discrimination faced by SC students and professionals. Similar cases have been reported from other prestigious institutions such as the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) and the University of Hyderabad. The Darshan Solanki suicide case is one such recent example of caste-based discrimination and harassment in educational institutions in India. Solanki, a SC student, died by suicide after facing alleged harassment and caste-based discrimination by his seniors at a college in Gujarat.