Even as the National Commission for Women (NCW) member-secretary Anita Agnihotri is in Odisha to enquire into alleged gang rape of a dalit girl in Pipili in Puri district, the Odisha State Commission for Women (OSCW) chairperson Jyoti Panigrahi has submitted a report coming down heavily on doctors.
The report, which was handed over to Odisha government as well as Agnihotri on Thursday, said the doctors showed negligence in treating her and did not inform the police on time.
Panigrahi said the medical reports of Capital Hospital, Bhubaneswar, and SCB Medical College and Hospital, Cuttack, disclosed partial hanging caused the injury on the girl’s neck. “As per law, if any information is received by the doctor (at local hospital) regarding partial hanging, it is his duty to inform the concerned police station. Had it been informed by the doctor to the police station on November 29 (the day she was admitted in local hospital), I think the police would have initiated its own action,” she said in her report.
Besides, she found that the girl was discharged from hospitals on two occasions though her condition was very serious. “As per the discharge certificate of SCB Medical College and Hospital (on December 14), the doctors have discharged the victim on request of her relatives though she was not cured at that time nor she was in a stage to be discharged,” Panigrahi said, adding that she should have been referred for better treatment.
She suggested that the government should take action against the doctors who did not inform the police authorities for initiating legal procedure and relieving the girl from hospital when her condition was serious. “(If) proper steps in due time had been taken by the physicians of different hospitals, the health condition of the victim would not have deteriorated,” Panigrahi observed. The 19-year-old girl, who is now struggling for her life in the SCB Medical College Hospital at Cuttack, was found in a serious condition on November 28 last year in a village under Pipili police station in Puri district, about 40 km east of Bhubaneswar. She was admitted to the local hospital and then referred to Capital Hospital on November 29. In between November 29 to December 14 the comatose girl was in and out of Capital Hospital and SCB Medical College twice.
The girl’s family claimed they had lodged a complaint on November 29 after her alleged rape but the Pipili police did not take any action. It was after the intervention of the State Women’s Commission on January 7 that her plight attracted limelight. The local police registered the case on January 9 following the intervention of Orissa high court, State Women’s Commission and State Human Rights Commission.
The incident raised public outcry across the state resulting in dismissal of the local police station incharge AK Champatiray, transfer of Puri district superintendent of police SN Sinha and resignation of local MLA Pradip Maharathi as agriculture minister. Presently, the case is under Odisha high court monitored crime branch investigation. The crime branch has arrested four persons for their involvement in the case. The state government has also initiated a judicial enquiry into it.