Three days after being brought to Sion Hospital, covered in bruises and cigarette burn marks, five-year-old sexual and physical abuse victim was even slated to lose his vision forever had he not received the treatment on time.
Doctors at the hospital confirmed that the boy who had suffered a severe penetrating injury in his right eye after being attacked by a fellow inmate with a blunt knife developed a severe condition known as Panophthalmitis, which is an infection caused in multiple layers of the eye due to delay in treatment.
While the doctors said, that post the surgery the patient will take atleast four to five days minimum to be able to recover from the current treatment given to him, Sion Police Station has filed an FIR based on the statement given by the child and his mother under several sections of Indian Penal Code and The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO Act) 2012 against the accused teenager from Darufala Madarasa of Azad Nagar, Malegaon.
Mausina Shaikh, (name changed to protect the identity of the victim as per the POCSO Act), a domestic help from Mumbai had sent her two children to the madarasa on August 8 due to adverse financial conditions. Within a month and a half, she received a call from the madarasa to take back both her children, the reason being leg injury of her five-year-old younger son suffered during an accident. However, on reaching the madarasa she found her younger son covered in a cloth, bleeding from his infected right eye, swollen lip, cigarette burns all over his body and horror stories about how he was sexually and physically abused brutally by a 16-year-old student there.
The child was brought to Lokmanya Tilak Municipal General Hospital (LTMG) Hospital in Sion at 5.30 pm on September 16 and doctors immediately admitted the patient in the ophthalmology department to treat his right eye.
Based on the statements given by the child and the mother, doctors realised that the injury was caused after the accused hit the boy in his eye with the blunt edge of the knife.
Since the injury was left untreated for days, it resulted in Panophthalmitis, where the pus was acculumated in the internal chambers of the eye leading to a severe infection. The condition can lead to permanent blindness if not treated on time.
"The right eye of the patient needed immediate attention hence a surgery was performed on the child yesterday where the pus in the internal chambers of the eye was removed and antibiotics were inserted in order to save the vision. The injury was an old one and since it was left untreated, it escalated to the severe condition. Had the child come two or three days late, the damage could have been irreversible and the child could have definitely lost his vision. Now we will be able to decide on the further course of action only after four to five days, based on his recovery," said Dr Rajesh Dhere, Forensic professor and nodal officer of the one-stop help centre for survivors of sexual violence at LTMG Hospital, Sion.
In the meanwhile, Sion Police Station has sent one of their officers to Azad Nagar Police Station of Malegaon, along with the statements of the victim, older brother and his mother. Senior Police Inspector, Y C Gorade told mid-day that the further investigation will be carried out by the concerned police station under whose jurisdiction the alleged crime has taken place. “We have filed an FIR against the accused teenager under section 377 (carnal intercourse against the order of nature), 326 (Voluntarily causing grievous hurt by dangerous weapons or means), 503 (Criminal intimidation, threatening another with any injury) of IPC as well as 4 (Penetrative Sexual Assault) and 8 (Sexual Assault) of POCSO act. The case has been transferred to Malegaon’s police station who will receive the details soon to investigate it further,” said Gorade.