A 27-year-old woman, who was an inmate at the Byculla jail until last week, has accused a medical compounder from the men’s section at the jail of molesting her. Despite the woman reporting the matter to the higher authorities in April, action is yet to be initiated in this case. The woman is out on bail since May 18.
Sources in the jail department told mid-day that the complainant (who was lodged in the jail since January 30) was allegedly molested by the Yashwant Bhalerao in a cabin made for medical examination near the women’s barracks.
A jail officer said the complaint claimed that Bhalerao entered the cabin and touched her inappropriately on the pretext of a check-up. This she said happened after the doctor took a break after examining a few of the inmates. She claimed two women inmates witnessed the incident.
While the victim did not approach the jail authorities immediately, she reported the incident in April after coming to a conclusion that her complaint would avert such incidents in the future. Bhalerao has been posted at the men’s section for last two years. Since there is no female compounder available at the jail, mostly nurses assist doctors.
Jail Superintendent Chandramani Indurkar said, “The woman first informed the matter to woman jailor (group-II) S Wagh, who then informed Dr S Khan. The doctor waited for female doctor Kinalekar to return from her 10-day leave and then inquired with her about the alleged incident. By the time I was apprised of the matter (May 6), Bhalerao had already gone on his 20-day leave (starting May 2). Despite issuing memos, none of the two doctors cared to respond.”
He added that orders were issued to conduct an inquiry into the matter and record statements of the complainant, the two eyewitnesses, jailor Wagh and constable Sunita More.
“Once Bhalerao resumes work, his statement will be recorded. If he fails to give satisfactory answers, a case will be registered against him,” he said.