With crowded places becoming a preying ground for sexual offenders, a second-year nursing student became a victim of sexual assault when she was molested in a packed lift at civic-run Nair Hospital on Friday evening.
The accused, Jaysant Patil, is the relative of a patient admitted in the hospital’s general ward. Patil was absconding after the incident took place but was nabbed by the security guards of the hospital on Monday on the premises of the facility. He was detained at Agripada police station in the evening.
The incident sparked outrage among the nurses working at the hospital who will be staging a demonstration on the premises on Wednesday at 7 am. Speaking to MiD DAY, Trishila Kamble, secretary of the municipal nursing and paramedics staff union, said, “The second-year nursing student had taken a break from work and was heading upstairs for a snack when the accused misbehaved with her in the crowded lift. She immediately reported the matter to the matron and also approached the dean.” Kamble added that the sexual harassment complaint committee of the hospital was informed about the incident, after which an inquiry was set up to investigate the incident.
“There was no lift attendant present when the incident took place and we are now concerned about security of women at the hospital. I have already written to the additional municipal secretary asking for more security to prevent such incidents from taking place again,” he added. Dr Ramesh Bharmal, dean of the hospital, said, “While I was informed about the incident on Friday itself, the student said she did not wish to file a first information report (FIR) against the accused, who is the relative of the patient admitted in ward number 12.”
When contacted, a police official from Agripada police station said that as the victim did not want to file an FIR against the accused, a non-cognisable complaint was filed. “We have taken the statements of both parties. The student informed us that he tried to touch her inappropriately. An FIR was not filed as the lift was carrying 10-12 people at that time and he said he accidentally pushed her and an argument broke out between the two parties,” he said. “Patil’s relative is undergoing treatment for cancer in the hospital. After an inquiry by the hospital, the issue has been sorted out,” the policeman added.