MP: Patients' Relatives Allegedly Demand "Upper Caste" Doctor, Assault Emergency-In-Charge
In Madhya Pradesh, a doctor from the Schedule Tribe community was reportedly thrashed by the relatives of patients, who wanted an “upper caste” doctor to treat the persons.
Doctor was assaulted
According to NDTV, Dr Geetesh Ratre complained that two injured women were brought to the government-run Subhash Chandra Medical College. The relatives of the two patients allegedly asked Ratre his full name, caste and other details.
Garha police station in charge S Khan said that Dr.Ratre was on duty in the Emergency Department, and he asked the medical staff to start treatment immediately. Suddenly a crowd of a dozen relatives and acquaintance of the patient came to the doctor and started asking about his name and caste. When Dr Ratre said that he belonged to Schedule Tribe community, the relatives and acquaintances demanded an “upper caste” doctor. After a heated argument, Dr Ratre was reportedly manhandled and abused while the women were taken away from their hospital.
A case has been registered against the accused under the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act for allegedly using casteist remarks against the doctor as well as under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code for preventing a government official from carrying his work.
Apex Court judgement on the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities Act)
On March 20, 2018, the Supreme Court issued guidelines for arrest under The Scheduled Tribe(Prevention of Atrocities)Act. The law would now protect public servants and private individuals from arbitrary and immediate arrest under The Scheduled Tribe(Prevention of Atrocities)Act. This verdict led to a huge unrest among the Dalit and the country faced a long shut down on 2nd April.
In the aftermath of this judgement, there were protests by Dalit, and BJP Ministers against the apex court’s ruling. Later, in the wake of the protest, Union Cabinet approved an amendment to The Scheduled Tribe(Prevention of Atrocities)Act to undo the ‘dilution’ by the Supreme Court.
Caste-based atrocities have become increasingly common in India. The Logical Indian community urges the police to look into the matter.