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Ante-mortem facility at Pune’s Sassoon hospital to help victims of sexual assault

The government has sanctioned Rs 10 crore towards the first phase of the facility to conduct ante-mortems at Sassoon General Hospital

pune Updated: Jan 27, 2019 14:57 IST
Nozia Sayyed
Nozia Sayyed
Hindustan Times, Pune
Pune,Ante-mortem facility,Sassoon General Hospital
The ante-mortem facility will be a part of new mortuary which is under construction at the Sassoon General Hospital.(HT/PHOTO)

Given the rise in sexual assault cases, murders, juvenile cases and immoral child and women trafficking, the Sassoon General Hospital, the state’s largest government-run hospital, has decided to create a separate facility to conduct ante-mortems.

Ante-mortem injuries are those that a person has suffered before death.

This facility will be part of the new mortuary with a capacity for 100 bodies which is under construction at the hospital complex. “The government has sanctioned Rs 10 crore towards the first phase of this project,” said Dr Pravin Shingare, director, director medical education and research, Maharashtra.

According to Dr S Punpale, director and head of the forensic department at Sassoon hospital and BJ Medical College, the hospital is witnessing a rise in post-mortems and ante-mortem cases.

He explained that ante-mortem injuries which are those that a person has suffered before death need not be just sexual assault cases. However, in cases of sexual assault, apart from the victims, the accused are also examined.

“There are cases of children who are sent to us to examine and check whether they are under 18 years of age or not. This is examined and verified by our forensic experts who judge and verify the bone age of the accused and the victims. This is done by performing ante-mortem,” Punpale said.

He noted that there were hardly any ante-mortems that were performed on a daily basis five years ago. “But now we are seeing around three to four cases of sexual assault victims and three to four cases of accused in the cases on a daily basis. This is all due to a rise in the crime scene, criminal cases, increasing assaults among others,” he said.

“We also conduct PITA (Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956) cases that are referred to us by the police to check and verify the children and the women who have entered/forced into prostitution by the agents; whether the victims are above or below 18 years of age. Such ante-mortems are commonly performed and carried out by us now,” Punpale said.

He pointed out that many children and women are forced into prostitution by pimps and ‘agents’ and are victimised. Forensic experts play an important role in the investigation of these cases.

Why the need of ante-mortem facility?

Data from NCRB

As per the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) in 2015—2,267 minors were raped in Maharashtra

According to NCRB, rapes have risen by 88% since 2007

Spike in crime rate from 1.8 per cent to 6.3

CID Maharashtra

CID, Maharashtra reported that in 2016, kidnapping and abduction (missing of minor children) rose by 13.1 per cent over the previous year, incidents of rape increased by 1.1 per cent and culpable homicide not amounting to murder increased by 21.9 per cent over the previous year.

CID, Maharashtra noted that

Crimes against women increased by 0.48 per cent as compared to 2015

Rapes increased by 1.09%, kidnapping and abduction by 21.06 per cent, abetment to commit suicide by 7.69 per cent and molestation by 36.43 per cent

Juveniles in conflict with law increased by 13.8 per cent during 2016 as compared to 2015

Offences against children saw an increase of 7.9 per cent in 2016

First Published: Jan 27, 2019 14:57 IST