A junior doctor Bhagwat Devangan (29) attached to the state-run Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Medical College and Hospital in Madhya Pradesh allegedly died by suicide on 1 October evening after facing caste discrimination at the hands of five senior doctors at the college and hospital.
Bhagwat Devangan who belonged to the Devangan caste, an OBC community and hailed from Chapa near Bilaspur in Chhattisgarh, was pursuing a postgraduate course in orthopedics.
Devangan community is listed as Extremely Backward Caste.
On 1 October, Devangan’s family members called his friend as Devangan was not responding to their calls on the mobile phone. The friend found the door of his hostel room bolted from inside, so he called the police. The door was broken and the doctor was found hanging from the ceiling fan by a rope. No suicide note was found in the room
Devangan’s family members told BBC Hindi that his seniors used to harass him with castiest remarks.
“My younger brother complained to me many times that his college seniors beat him up and physically and mentally torture him with castiest and anti-reservation slurs. The college management was also aware of this but they never interfered in it and my brother was forced to embrace death,” Dewangan’s elder brother Prahlad Dewangan said.
At the hostel, the five accused doctors had treated him with cruelty and taunted him for being from an Extremely Backward Caste family.
“Our family’s financial situation was not very good compared to other students in college. We were managing the money for his education with great difficulties. But his seniors repeatedly said to him that he could not study properly because he got admission here due to reservation. They also used to make fun of his financial and social condition” brother added.
Bhagwat Devangan had even complained to the hospital authorities several times about the harassment. But the hospital authorities told BBC Hindi that they did not receive any complaint from him.
“On the basis of the statements of family members, the Anti-Ragging Committee of the Police Medical College, along with the Dean of the College, has interrogated fellow junior and senior doctors and started investigating the matter,” a senior staff of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Medical College told media.
“On 24 July, Devangan had tried to die by suicide by getting fed up with caste discrimination, ragging from his five senior doctors. Once again, when he came back from his home to the hostel for studies, the same doctors started targeting him back, which caused him to be suicidal,” a family member said.
Family members have filed complaints against five senior doctors in Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Medical College.
According to BBC Hindi, Jabalpur police started a preliminary investigation on the complaint of the family, but no FIR has been filed yet.