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Sexual assault arrest at Lumbini

A Group D employee of the state-run Lumbini Park Mental Hospital was arrested on Tuesday for alleged sexual assault on a patient.

Premnath Prasad, 48, allegedly assaulted the 36-year-old woman, who had been undergoing treatment at the hospital since 2004, inside a bathroom on Monday night.

“The hospital authorities lodged a complaint with Kasba police station against one of the employees for sexually assaulting a patient,” said Pallab Kanti Ghosh, the joint commissioner of police (crime).

“A case has been registered under Section 376 (D) of the IPC,” Ghosh added.

An officer of Kasba police station said Jayanta Moitra, the medical superintendent of the hospital, lodged the complaint. “He mentioned that a Group D employee had taken the victim to the bathroom around 8.45pm on Monday. Two women employees had seen her coming out of the bathroom in an ‘abnormal’ state. The women opened the bathroom door to find the Group D employee inside,” the officer said.

The woman told some female employees that Prasad had “touched and kissed” her, the complaint mentions.

A medical test was performed on the woman. The police are awaiting the report to frame the chargesheet.

When asked whether the woman would be made to record a statement in court, an officer said: “If an alleged victim is mentally challenged and undergoing treatment, she is not asked to record a statement. Priority will be given to the medical test report and circumstantial evidence.”

The state health department has also initiated a probe. “Police have taken action based on the complaint lodged by the hospital superintendent. We have started a parallel probe. We are looking into the failings in the hospital system and the things we need to improve,” said Asit Biswas, a health department spokesperson.

In July, Debabrata Neogi, an employee of a home for mentally challenged and destitute women in Gurap, had been arrested for allegedly raping a former inmate “several times”.

The shelter in Hooghly had been in news since early June, when the body of an inmate was dug up from inside the premises. Eleven officials of the home are behind bars.

Snatching: A man on a motorcycle snatched a gold chain from a homemaker in Kasba on Monday evening. Bharati Lal, a resident of KL Sen Road, was on her way to GS Bose Road around 6pm when the biker came from behind and grabbed her chain. In the scuffle that ensued, the chain tore. Bharati held on to a portion but the biker fled with the rest along with an accomplice, who was on another motorcycle parked about 30 metres away. The homemaker lodged a complaint with Kasba police station.