Bhopal: A covid-19 patient was raped at Bhopal Memorial Hospital and Research Center (BMHRC). Though the incident had occurred during wee hours on April 6, the police and hospital management managed to hide the incident for more than one month. They even didn’t inform family members of the victim, who succumbed to death within 24 hours.
The incident came to light on Wednesday late night after some social activists circulated messages on social media.
A case in this regard is registered at Nishatpura police station. The police have registered a case and arrested the accused, who is presently lodged at Bhopal Central Jail.
When asked as to why information regarding the incident was hidden, the deputy inspector general of police (DIG), Bhopal Irshad Wali said that the victim had given an application to police to protect his identity and also not reveal the incident to anyone. “We have a letter written by the victim. As she didn’t want to disclose the incident to anyone, the information was not shared to anyone except the investigating team,” Wali told Free Press Journal.
Sources said that the accused, identified as Santosh Ahirwar, 40, had sexually molested a staff nurse before sexually assaulting the covid-19 patient. The molestation incident was mentioned in Police’s daily situation report (DSR), but the rape case was not mentioned.
According to the complaint given by hospital management to Nishatpura police station, the accused, who works as male nurse on contract basis at the hospital, went to Fifth of the hospital, where he sexually molested a staff nurse. When she raised the alarm, the accused ran to the second floor of the hospital building.
On the name of routine check, the accused started touching inappropriately to woman, 43, who was admitted to the hospital on April 4 after she was tested covid-19 positive. When woman, a resident of state capital objected, the accused took her to toilet on the name responding nature calls,
Police sources said that the accused earlier sexually abused the victim in the toilet and later sexually abused at her medical bed in the covid ward, too. The accused later fled away from there.
When a duty nurse visited the patient in the morning on April, 6, the victim revealed the entire incident. The nurse subsequently informed hospital management.
Sources said that hospital management didn’t inform the police about the incident until the female nurse, who was also molested by the accused, lodged a complaint to Nishatpura police station.
In charge of Nishatpura police station Mahendra Singh Chouhan said that a police team was sent to hospital for recording the statement of the victim, but the statement could not be recorded as her condition was too serious.
Sources said that the victim was shifted to a ventilator on April 6, as her condition deteriorated. She later succumbed in the late evening on the same day.