A day after a 39-year-old man was arrested on Wednesday for allegedly molesting a 14-year-old female patient at a government hospital in Thane district, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) sent a notice to the chief secretary of Maharashtra seeking a detailed report.
Police said the accused, a cleaner, tied the girl’s hands and touched her inappropriately. The NHRC, in its notice, stated, “The girl was in lawful custody of the hospital and it was obligatory on part of the hospital to provide her proper safety during the indoor treatment. It is necessary for the employer authorities to check the credentials of the workers who are being deputed in the sensitive areas. Due to lapse on part of the hospital authorities, the girl was victimised by the accused employee. The shameful incident occurring at a government-run facility raises a question mark on the safety of the patients, particularly female patients in the hospital.”
Police said the accused was working at the hospital over the past two years. “He has been remanded to police custody and we are investigating the matter. He attacked the girl thinking that she will not raise an alarm,” said a senior officer. “The patient’s right hand was tied to the drip stand and the accused tied the other hand and touched her inappropriately. Another patient noticed this and alerted the staff,” said a police officer, adding that the contractor who employed the accused had dismissed him.
Police added that the girl, who was suffering from a neurological disorder, was alone for the day as her parents had to go to work. “She was getting seizures due to which the saline pouch kept coming off, so one of her hands was tied to the drip stand. The accused tied the other hand, saying he did it for her own safety, but then touched her inappropriately,” said an investigating officer.
The officer added, “The woman on the opposite bed, also a patient, saw the victim look troubled and raised an alarm. The hospital staff rushed in and found the accused with the girl.”