She was wandering on the premises of the civic-run KEM hospital, worried and flustered about her husband, who was undergoing treatment from an accident in one of the wards.
Soon, a man accosted her, and introducing himself as a medical social worker (MSW) attached to the hospital, offered to get some monetary assistance for her husband’s treatment. Relieved at the sudden stroke of luck, she went along with him gladly, unaware of the horrors that lay in store for her.
Archana Parmar (33, name changed) was allegedly molested by the unidentified man on Thursday afternoon, near the hospital premises.
The man reportedly told Parmar that owing to his designation, he could help her get some extra money, which would help her keep afloat during her expensive stay in Mumbai.
He also promised to speak to doctors to get her husband treated on an emergency basis. Naively believing his assurances, Parmar from accompanied the man to an unknown location outside the hospital.
According to a source in the hospital’s security staff, “The relatives came to us claiming that they couldn’t locate Parmar. We looked at our CCTV footage, but couldn’t spot her.
At around 4.30 pm, the woman returned herself, and narrated the ordeal to her relatives. She told them that a man posing as an MSW molested her after offering to help her.”
Later in the evening, the family members registered a police complaint at the Bhoiwada police station, at the behest of the security officials of the hospital.
Senior Police Inspector Vikrant Patil confirmed the incident, saying, “We are investigating the matter. The statement of the victim has been recorded, and further details will be available only after an enquiry is made into the matter. We haven’t registered a case yet.”
Dr Sanjay Oak, dean of the hospital, said, “He was not a member of the hospital staff, and the incident did not occur within our premises. In spite of that, we have reported the matter to the police.”
Parmar’s husband, who is a labourer at a construction site, had fractured his leg in an accident on site.
On the night of November 27, 1973, Aruna Shanbaug, nurse at KEM hospital, was sexually assaulted by Sohanlal Bhartha Walmiki, a sweeper on contract at the hospital. Walmiki attacked her while she was changing clothes in the hospital basement. He choked her with a dog chain and sodomised her.
The asphyxiation resulted in a brain stem contusion and cervical cord injury, other than leaving her cortically blind. She is still looked after by the hospital, and has been in a vegetative state since the incident.