SCW blames doc for illness of Pipli victim

Bhubaneswar: With the 19-year-old dalit rape victim of Pipli struggling for survival at the ICU of SCB Medical College Hospital in Cuttack, the State Commission for Women (SCW) held "doctors responsible" for the teenager`s deteriorated health condition. "Had the proper steps been taken in due time by the physicians of different hospitals, the health condition of the victim would not have deteriorated," SCW chairperson Jyoti Panigrahi said in the inquiry report submitted to the state government.

Suggesting the state government to take doctors to task for negligence, Panigrahi said had the doctors informed the police about the health condition of the girl, steps could have been taken immediately. She also suggested that state to take action against the doctors for discharging the victim from SCB medical college hospital in Cuttack on December 14, 2011 when she was not cured rather her condition was serious.

The girl was allegedly raped at her native village of Arjunboda in Puri district on November 28, 2011. Her family members had rushed her to Pipli government hospital after finding her in unconscious state in a paddy field, the doctors there referred her to the Capital Hospital in Bhubaneswar for treatment. The Capital Hospital in turn referred her to the SCB Medical College Hospital in Cuttack due to lack of infrastructure to treat the patient. The girl was admitted at the SCB medical college hospital and discharged before being cured.

The girl was again admitted at the SCB Medical college hospital in January as per a direction of the High Court. On the alleged rape of the girl, the SCW chairperson claimed that there was no record available with her about the allegation of sexual assault. "I pursued the xerox copy of the FIR and found that no allegation of sexual assault to the victim nor the name of any accused person was mentioned in the report," Panigrahi said.

As per the FIR, the relatives of the victim found her in half naked and unconscious condition laying in a paddy field, she said adding that a ligature mark of injury on the neck was mentioned in the FIR. "The girl was not given any treatment for that (rape)," the SCW chairperson said adding that her relations had also not informed the doctors regarding the alleged sexual assault on her.

The police which had allegedly refused to accept FIR of the victim`s father, however, registered a case under section 376 (rape) and other of the IPC on January 9, 2012 following a direction from the State Human Rights Commission. The Crime Branch of police had arrested four accused persons for their alleged involvement in the rape and attempt to murder of the dalit girl.

The state government had ordered a judicial probe into the incident and a team of the National Commission for Women (NCW) probed into the alleged incident. The DGP has dismissed the then Pipli police station inspector Amulya Champatiray on charge of refusing to accept the FIR while A N Sinha was shifted from the post of Puri SP.

Meanwhile, the women wing of the opposition Congress demanded resignation of Panigrahi from the post of the chairperson of the SCW. "Panigrahi`s report is politically motivated. We will demonstrate before the SCW office on Tuesday," said State Mahila Congress president Bijaylaxmi Sahoo. The Left parties – CPI, CPI(M), Forward Bloc -, Samajwadi Party and RJD also criticised the SCW`s report.