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Protests over MGM molestation

Jamshedpur, May 24: Members of a human rights outfit and a women’s organisation today staged demonstrations at MGM Medical College and Hospital in Sakchi in protests against the alleged molestation of a patient by a Home Guard jawan in the wee hours of yesterday.

The protesters belonging to Jharkhand Human Rights Conference (JHRC) and Mahila Jagriti Manch, who later submitted a petition to the hospital’s deputy superintendent A.K. Singh (superintendent S.K. Chowdhury was not in town), threatened to launch a dharna on the state-run heal hub premises from Monday if their demands for women’s safety were not addressed within 48 hours.

The demands included suspension of the accused, who was today identified as Sambhu Shravan Singh, increased police patrolling on the hospital premises at night, deployment of adequate number of women security personnel at female wards, provision of visitor passes and constitution of a committee to probe sexual harassment cases.

“We ended our agitation after the hospital’s deputy superintendent assured us that the guilty Home Guard jawan would be removed and a special committee on sexual harassment would be constituted today itself. The administration also promised to take up the issue of deployment of women constables near female wards,” said JHRC convener Manoj Mishra.

Singh later told The Telegraph that letters had been issued to East Singhbhum senior superintendent of police and also the district administration for removing Sambhu, who had allegedly molested the patient while she was sleeping in the surgical ward.

“The night guard involved in the incident has been removed. This apart, we have already constituted a four-member women sexual harassment committee to investigate such cases. We will also write to Sakchi police to intensify night patrolling,” added the deputy superintendent.

The 25-year-old victim, who hails from Ghatshila sub-division, has refused to lodge a police complaint though she identified her tormentor today.

Sambhu had apparently asked the patients at the female ward in the surgical unit to keep the door open at night because of the extreme heat. The women heeded his advice, but the victim woke up in the night to find him beside her on the bed. As she raised an alarm, Sambhu fled.

Asked why they did not lodge a police complaint, deputy superintendent Singh said they were waiting for an internal report to make any legal move.