Bhopal: COVID-19 patient raped by nurse, died within 24 hours
A coronavirus patient was raped by a male nurse at a government hospital in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, and died within just 24 hours of that incident, the police said on Thursday. The incident took place over a month ago but has been made public only now while the suspect has since been arrested by the cops. Here are more details on this.
Incident happened on April 6 at Bhopal Memorial Hospital
The 43-year-old woman had been admitted to the Bhopal Memorial Hospital and Research Centre for COVID-19 treatment. She was raped on April 6 and narrated the ordeal to a doctor at the facility. She had identified the accused in a statement to that doctor. However, soon after, her condition deteriorated and she was shifted to a ventilator. She died later that day.
Case filed at Nishatpura Police station, accused held
A case was filed at the Nishatpura Police station and the accused, a 40-year-old Santosh Ahirwar, has since been held. He has been kept at the Bhopal Central Jail and is currently awaiting trial. Sources cited by NDTV said that Ahirwar had earlier sexually assaulted a 24-year-old staff nurse and had even been suspended for drinking while on duty in the past.
Why didn't the police disclose the case earlier?
Senior police official Irshad Wali informed the media that the victim had submitted an application to the police, requesting them not to reveal her identity and keep the investigation secret. "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.
Victim was a survivor of the 1984 Bhopal Gas Tragedy
The victim was a survivor of the 1984 Bhopal Gas Tragedy. An association for victims of the disaster has now written a letter to the authorities, raising concerns over the "pathetic condition of COVID-19 wards" at the state-run hospital. Noting that survivors of the 1984 Tragedy are seven times more likely to die of COVID-19, the association called for an investigation into the incident.
'Management did everything to hide the heinous crime'
"The BMHRC management has done everything in its power to push this heinous and criminal act under the rug and that is precisely the reason why the family of the rape victim was not even informed about the events," the association alleged in its letter. It suggested that CCTV cameras should be installed in all COVID-19 wards to augment safety.