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Thursday, Aug 22, 2019

Delhi acid attack survivor alleges murder attempt in hospital

According to the woman’s complaint filed with the North Avenue police station, the alleged attack took place on July 26, around 5.25am, when she was asleep. The woman alleged that the attacker was one of her molesters, against whom an FIR was lodged five years ago.

delhi Updated: Aug 12, 2019 21:50 IST
Vatsala Shrangi
Vatsala Shrangi
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
(Representative image)
         

A 22-year-old acid attack survivor undergoing treatment at Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) hospital was allegedly attacked in the emergency surgery ward, where she has been admitted. The woman, of southwest Delhi’s Najafgarh, has been admitted to the hospital since April 20 and is currently being fed through a nasal pipe.

According to the woman’s complaint filed with the North Avenue police station, the alleged attack took place on July 26, around 5.25am, when she was asleep. The woman alleged that the attacker was one of her molesters, against whom an FIR was lodged five years ago.

The woman has been provided security by the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) following the incident. Women counsellors from an NGO have been deployed in three shifts for the woman’s safety.

“A heavyset man entered the ward and pressed my mouth while I was sleeping. I signalled to my mother, who was sleeping beside, and she raised the alarm. The security guards also tried to catch him but he fled. He was sent by a group of men in my neighbourhood to kill me. They have been threatening and attacking my family since we filed an FIR against them for molesting me,” the woman told the police.

However, a senior police officer said they had received a complaint and had also detained the man, but he was found to be a mentally unstable patient admitted to the same hospital.

“We scanned the CCTV footage. During interrogation, it was found that he was a mentally ill patient with documented proof of being admitted to the hospital for a long time. He had just stood at the entrance of the ward mistakenly. We also questioned the guards and other patients,” the officer said.

Earlier, in her complaint to the women’s commission, the survivor alleged that in 2014, she had lodged an FIR against four men in her neighbourhood, who had molested her while she was a class 11 student.

The woman’s father said that a case was registered at Ranhola police station. The men were arrested by the police but later released on bail.

The woman’s family, in an FIR registered in December 2018 at Najafgarh police station, alleged that the accused men kidnapped her along with her two sisters and took them to Rajasthan, where they forced her to consume acid.

“The men kidnapped us from outside our house in an autorickshaw while we were going to fetch milk. While my sisters managed to flee midway, I was taken to a secluded place in another state, where they beat me and injected me with needles. They sexually abused me too. Three of them forced acid down my throat and left me to die. I don’t know who took me to a hospital, from where I called my parents,” the woman said.

The woman is set to undergo a surgery. The DCW, on Thursday, issued a notice to Delhi Police, seeking details of the case and action taken.

“Since we registered a case against the men, three of whom are brothers, we have been receiving threats and my family has been facing attacks. We had to move to a rented accommodation, leaving our own house. My daughter had to drop out of school and we have lost all our belongings in pursuing the case, but have not got any relief,” the woman’s father said.

A senior police officer said they are looking into the case details.

DCP (New Delhi) Eish Singhal said, “After the incident was reported, we scanned the CCTV cameras and found that a man stood at the entrance gate of the ward. After checking his medical records, we found that he too is a mental illness patient and has been admitted in the hospital for long. We have questioned all the security guards as well as patients in the ward and have not found anything suspicious.”

Medical Superintendent of the hospital could not be reached for a comment. However, a doctor from the hospital who did not wish to be named, confirmed the police’s version of the event.

First Published: Aug 12, 2019 21:35 IST

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