INDIA: Medical doctor from Dalit community abused at the clinic and the local police refusing to take action


Urgent Appeal Case: UA-180-2007
ISSUES: Caste-based discrimination, Police negligence, Police violence,

Dear friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information from its local partner the People’s Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR) in Uttar Pradesh regarding an incident where a Dalit medical doctor was insulted in front of her patients. It is alleged that the doctor was insulted when she refused to prescribe medicines as demanded by the patient. It is also alleged that the insult upon the doctor was based on caste prejudices. The doctor had complained to the local police about the incident, but the police have refused to take any action upon the incident.


Dr. Usha Kiran, is from a scheduled caste family. Dr. Usha is currently working as the Senior Medical Officer at the Varanasi Division of the North Railway. According to the information received, on May 5, 2007 at about 11.45am when Dr. Usha was busy with her consultation in the clinic Mr. J. P. Dubey, an employee of North Railway stationed in Varanasi came to the railway clinic and entered the consultation room. Dubey did not care to wait for the other patients who had arrived at the clinic earlier than him to finish their consultation. After entering the room Dubey demanded that Dr. Usha must examine him immediately.

Dr. Usha told Dubey to go outside and wait and also to collect a registration slip from the counter. The registration slip provided at the counter is given to the patients on a payment of two rupees. This is also used as a prescription slip by the doctor. The clinic is managed by the Northern Railway for the staff and also for outsiders who wish to consult the doctor. However, Dubey did not go out from the room and started raising his voice asking the doctor to examine him. Dr. Usha examined Dubey and prescribed him some medicines. The medicine was supplied outside the consultation room at the pharmacy.

Dubey went out from the consultation room, got his medicines from the pharmacy and returned to the consultation room demanding prescription for more medicine. This time Dr. Usha refused to agree with Dubey and informed him that she can not prescribe medicines according to Dubey’s demands. Dr. Usha informed Dubey that there are several other patients waiting outside who had to be attended immediately and who had also arrived at the clinic earlier. Dr. Usha asked Dubey to go out from the room and to wait if he had anything further to inform her.

Dubey at this point became very angry and started to insult Dr. Usha using filthy language and indecent gestures. Dubey also shouted at Dr. Usha saying that since Dr. Usha is from a Dalit community she had an obligation to treat Dubey giving him the priority of being from an upper caste. Dubey soon became violent and Dr. Usha suspected that he would assault her, called for help. Mr. Vishwanath, an employee at the clinic and Mr. Awdesh Ram, the Section Engineer came inside and had to remove Dubey from the consultation room. Dr. Usha on the same day filed a written complaint at the Sigra Police Station asking the local police to take action against Dubey. However the police have taken no action so far against Dubey.


Insult, physical or verbal, with an intention to intimidate a member of the Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe is an offense according to a special law, the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 of India.  This law mandates that if there is a complaint by any member of the Scheduled Caste or the Scheduled Tribe revealing an offense punishable under this law, the complaint must be registered and investigated by an officer not below the rank of the Deputy Superintendent of Police. The law also requires that the trial of cases registered under this law must be conducted in special courts constituted for that purpose. However, in India, very often the complaints to the police are not investigated by the police and they fail to investigate cases unless they are bribed or due to external pressure. This attitude worsens when it comes to investigation of cases of atrocities committed against the members of the lower caste.

The situation of the members of the lower caste has not changed much in India. Forced social isolation is the most commonly used tactic by the upper caste against the dalits. Caste prejudices dominate the social realm and is reflected in every aspect of societal interactions. People often refer to surnames indicating their ‘caste rank’. Even if a person is superior to another in office hierarchy, if the caste of the superior is ‘inferior’ to the subordinate, then the chances of the subordinates treating the superior officer with respect or with equal status is much less. This factor is evident from the above case.

Dr. Usha and Dubey are employed by the Northern Railway. However Dr. Usha is a senior medical officer whereas Dubey is a low-ranking staff. The arrogance and impatience of an upper caste Hindu, Dubey, required to wait for a dalit, that too a woman to examine him is reflected in his comment ‘…I will see to it that you are punished in a way a person from your caste deserve to be punished…’. This attitude of higher and lower social status, determined by the caste, is what that prompted Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, the father of the Indian Constitution to resign from his first job as the Military Secretary to the then Baroda State.

At the core, the attitude towards the lower caste by the members of the upper caste has not changed in India. This is precisely why caste discrimination is till flourishing in India. In addition to the deep-rooted belief of origin, birth and rebirth of caste Hindus a criminal justice system that has failed to function as expected has also contributed to the continuation of caste based discrimination in India. For further details please see INDIA: Failed justice mechanisms ensure most Indians do not benefit from economic development.

Please send a letters to the relevant authorities listed below calling for an immediate investigation into this case.

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Dear _________,

INDIA: Medical doctor from Dalit community abused at the clinic and the local police refusing to take action

Name of the victim: 
Dr. Usha Kiran, Senior Medical Officer, Varanasi Division of North Railway, currently working at North Railway Health Centre, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh
Alleged perpetrators:
1. Mr. J. P. Dubey, (Loco), North Railway, Varanasi district, Uttar Pradesh state
2. Officer-in-Charge, Sigra Police Station of Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh state
Date and place of Incident: May 5, 2007 in Varanasi

I am writing to express my concern regarding an incident of intentional insult of a medical doctor from the dalit community by an upper caste Hindu in Varanasi. I am also concerned about the lack of police action in this case in spite of the doctor complaining to the local police – the Sigur Police Station.

I am informed that the doctor in this case, Dr. Usha Kiran, the Senior Medical Officer stationed at Varanasi working with the Northern Railway was insulted and threatened by Mr. J. P. Dubey, a subordinate staff also working with the Northern Railway. The incident happened on 5 May 2007 at the Northern Railway Medical Clinic in Varanasi while Dr. Usha was examining her patients. Dubey, allegedly barged into the consolation room demanding medicines without caring to wait for his turn.

It is alleged that Dr. Usha prescribed medicines for Dubey at the first instance after the consultation. Dubey who allegedly collected his medicines from the pharmacy returned to the consultation room insisting the doctor to prescribe more medicines which the doctor declined. It is alleged that at this juncture Dubey became angry with the doctor and abused her, verbally, indicating that since she is from a dalit community she must be punished for her disrespectful attitude towards the member of an upper caste, in the manner fitting her lower caste status.

I am surprised to know that even though the doctor lodged a written complaint at the Sigur Police Station on the same day even after a month the police have not registered a case against Dubey or investigated the case. I am informed that the incident described above is an offense under the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989. I am also informed that the local police in general is hesitant to investigate crimes and refuse to investigate cases coming under the purview of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 in particular.

I am concerned about the continuing disregard of the local administration, particularly the police, to investigate cases of atrocities committed against the members of the lower caste. I therefore urge you to take immediate action in this case so that the Sigur police is instructed to take appropriate actions in this case and also to make sure that if Dubey is found guilty of the offense be punished in accordance to the law. I also urge you to initiate a separate inquiry to find out why the Sigur police refused to initiate an inquiry in this case thus far and to take actions against the police officers at the Sigur Police Station who failed to take any action upon the complaint.

Yours sincerely,



1.  Ms. Mayavati 
Chief Minister, Chief Minister’s Secretariat, Lucknow 
Uttar Pradesh
Fax: + 91-522-2230002/2239234

2.  Ms. Veena
District Magistrate
Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh
Fax: 91 5422501450

3. Justice A.P. Mishra
Uttar Pradesh Human Rights Commission
6-A Kalidass Marg, Lucknow
Uttar Pradesh
Fax: + 91 52 2272 6743

4. The Director General of Police
Tilak Marg, Lucknow
Uttar Pradesh
Fax :+91 52 2220 6120, 2220 6174 
E-mail :

5. Chairperson
National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes
Government of India
5th Floor, Loknayak Bhawan
Khan Market
New Delhi 110003
Fax: + 91 11 2462 5378

Thank you.

Urgent Appeals Programme
Asian Human Rights Commission (

Document Type : Urgent Appeal Case
Document ID : UA-180-2007
Countries : India,
Issues : Caste-based discrimination, Police negligence, Police violence,