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Rape victim discharged

- Traumatised garden girl recovers after 3 months

Siliguri, Dec.4: The rape victim from a Dooars tea garden who regained consciousness after 35 days in coma returned home today after recovering at North Bengal Medical College and Hospital, much to the happiness of her fiancé who was waiting patiently for her discharge.

She left the hospital around 10.30am and reached her home on Moraghat tea estate at noon, accompanied by north Bengal development minister Gautam Deb.

The girl had been admitted to the critical care unit of NBMCH on August 28 and was in coma with injuries to her head, a broken hip and damaged left lung. She had multiple injuries on the neck, face, forearms, eyes and ears and severe bleeding. She was in coma for 35 days and regained consciousness in the first week of October.

The 22-year-old was raped by two bike-borne men while returning from Binnaguri market in the evening of August 27. They offered the girl a lift but took her to a secluded place and raped her.

Wearing a green salwar kurta and neatly plaited hair (done by her didis (sisters) of NBMCH), she embarked in the waiting SUV of minister Deb.

The minister accompanied her to the home on Moraghat tea estate today. “Itne din baad ghar jana bahut achha lag raha hain (it feels good to go home after so many days),” she said with a wide smile.

However, she broke down into tears seconds later when the hospital staff comprising doctors, nurses, medical attendants started waving good-bye. “Didi logon ko chhod ke jana accha nahi lag raha hai (it feels bad that I have to depart from my sisters),” she said amid sobs.

Deb applauded the team-work of the NBMCH doctors on the successful treatment of the girl. “The recovery of the girl from coma after 35 days is a commendable achievement. Thanks to the team-work of the doctors, nurses and other hospital staff who were involved in treatment of the girl.”

The girl’s fiancé who had expressed his wish to marry her after she regained consciousness still stands firm on his decision. “God has answered my prayers. I will marry her but not immediately. Although she has recovered, she is still weak. It may take several months or even a year for her to regain strength. Till then I will wait for her,” the youth said while waiting outside the CCU.

NBMCH doctors were happy with their achievement. “There were less than 50 percent chances of her survival as in the case of any patient in coma. Initially, she started flexing muscles and gradually, opened her eyes on command. Even then, we were not sure if she could ever speak. But she did and is now able to walk and take food orally,” Sabyasachi Das, the NBMCH superintendent, said.

Police sources in Jalpaiguri said one of the two alleged rapists had been arrested. “We will record the statement of the girl today. Adequate security will be provided to her,” a police officer said.