Dalit rape victim responding to treatment

Cuttack: There has been a slight improvement in the condition of the 19-year-old Dalit rape victim and she is now in a semi comatose state, medical college hospital sources said.

This was informed by the SCB Hospital authorities to the state High Court on Fridayt. Following the HC order, the girl who was allegedly raped in November last year was shifted here in coma stage on Wednesday.

Taking note of the health status report of the girl submitted by the hospital superintendent, the High Court further directed the respondent to give the best treatment to the victim.

"If required, services of super specialists from outside the state at the cost of state government may be availed," directed the division bench of Chief Justice V Gopala Gowda and Justice S K Mishra.

Deciding to closely monitor the health condition of the victim and the treatment given to her, the High Court also directed the hospital superintendent to submit a further status report to the Court on Monday.

Earlier in the day, the Hospital authorities informed the court that the patient is now being attended by a team of super specialists drawn from neurology, neurosurgery, orthopaedic, obstetrics and regional spinal cord injury centre.

The superintendent also said that the patient is under observation round the clock and he is keeping a close watch of her on hourly basis.

"The patient is semi comatose and although critically ill, has shown slight improvement on hospitalisation. Her chemical analysis shows of partial hanging and she is given free treatment. Even the costly MRI test of brain was done from hospital users` fund," the health status report said.

Meanwhile, the High Court also took note of the report submitted by the city DCP regarding the safety and security of the victim in the hospital.

The DCP in his report has said that three lady constables are posted at the ICU where the patient is now undergoing treatment. Similarly, a lady sub-inspector along with armed police has been posted at the Hospital to augment the security and meet any eventuality, the police report said.

The High Court had earlier directed the state crime branch police who are now investigating into the alleged rape case, to submit its action taken report to the court on Monday after apprehending the four accused named in the FIR.

According to prosecution, the girl was raped in three phases by separate gangs who handed her over to other accomplices after sexually assaulting her on two days.

In the first incident, she was raped by four youths inside Budharaja forest. Then she was sexually assaulted by two persons including the juvenile in a house near Madanabati school and the next day four other youths raped her inside the Brucks hill in the town.

The incident had sparked off state-wide uproar and students agitation forcing the government to order a probe by the then revenue divisional commissioner Madhusudan Padhi.

He had submitted the inquiry report to the government, contents of which are yet to be divulged. Besides, as a fallout of the incident, then vice-chancellor of the university Udayachand Biswal had to resign three months after assuming office.