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Tuesday , October 19 , 2010
 
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Taken ill at pandal, lady alleges rape by doctor

Mumbai, Oct. 18: A Bengali woman who fainted in a Puja pandal on Navami was allegedly raped yesterday by a doctor in a Navi Mumbai hospital when she was lying semi-conscious in the ICU.

Police in Vashi, Navi Mumbai, have arrested Dr Vishal Vanne for allegedly raping the 30-year-old housewife and mother.

The woman is a resident of Kopar Khairne, also in Navi Mumbai.

Inspector Rajkumar Chaphekar of Vashi police station said Vanne, the resident medical officer of Lotus Hospital on night duty, took advantage of the woman’s semi-conscious state and raped her in her ICU bed between 2am and 5am on Sunday. Chaphekar told PTI “the woman was in a semi-conscious state and could comprehend that she was being raped but due to weakness could not resist the accused or raise an alarm”.

The 26-year-old doctor was arrested last evening after the woman told her husband about the incident.

“The doctor confessed to the crime during questioning. The preliminary medical examination has confirmed rape and we have arrested him under Section 376-D (sexual intercourse by any member of the management or staff of a hospital with a patient in that hospital) of the IPC. He has been remanded in police custody till October 25,” Chaphekar said.

The police said the woman, who has a 10-year-old child, had fainted because of low blood pressure at the ICL School Grounds Puja pandal in Vashi’s Sector 15 on Saturday evening.

Her husband rushed her to the privately-run Lotus Hospital which is near the Puja grounds and also close to the office of the Vashi Cultural Association, formed by Navi Mumbai’s Bengali community.

The woman had been admitted to a general ward initially but was shifted to the ICU after she started shivering on Saturday night, PTI said.

There were two other patients in the ICU at the time the woman was allegedly raped, but both were in deep sleep because of medication.

The police are also investigating if the doctor administered any drug to the victim before he raped her. The hospital management was not available for comment.

A staff member, however, said the doctor has been suspended.

Vanne, who lives in the Navi Mumbai suburb of Ghansoli, has been working in the hospital since December 2009.

Today, angry residents protested outside the hospital and vandalised signboards at its entrance. However, the police arrived at the scene and prevented the mob from doing any serious damage to the hospital.

The upset Bengali community plans to speak to the Navi Mumbai police commissioner, Ahmed Javed, about the incident and seek more security in hospitals to prevent such incidents.

“The victim is a housewife, and her husband works with a private company. Thousands of people come to the Puja pandal everyday and we did not really know about her fainting. Her husband was with her and he quickly ensured that she got medical attention,” said a member of the ICL School Grounds Puja committee.

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