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Rapist offers marriage, refused

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OUR CORRESPONDENT   |   Delhi   |   Published 03.05.05, 12:00 AM

New Delhi, May 3: Minutes before his sentence was to be announced, a man convicted of raping a nurse offered to marry her. But the victim brushed off the proposal and demanded punishment.

Additional sessions judge J.M. Malik had found Bhura, a ward boy at the Shanti Mukund Hospital in east Delhi, guilty of raping the nurse on December 7, 2003.

Just before the sentence was to be pronounced today, the defence moved an application urging the court to take a lenient view as the convict is now reformed. Bhura also informed the court ? in what appeared to be a last-ditch attempt to escape sentencing ? that, as no one would be ready to marry the young girl because of the stigma of rape, he would like to tie the knot with her.

The judge then asked the victim and her parents to appear before the court tomorrow to file their reply to this plea and reserved the pronouncement of sentence for a day. However, the girl has refused to marry the convict. The nurse is to give her version in court tomorrow.

?I will not marry him. I cannot marry him,? the nurse told journalists. ?He should be given the severest punishment. He should be hanged so that such a horrendous act is not repeated.?

On the night of December 7, Bhura assaulted the girl ? then 19 ? who was attending to a comatose patient. When the nurse resisted, Bhura plunged his fingers into her eyes causing permanent blindness in the right eye.

The ward boy then dragged the nurse to the adjacent bathroom, raped her and locked her in. She lay there unconscious through the night.

Shanti Mukund Hospital did not treat the rape victim and, instead, referred her to the Guru Tegh Bahadur Hospital when the nurse?s friends and relatives protested. However, doctors at GTB also did not attend to her for three days and the nurse allegedly lost sight in the right eye because of the delay.

In January 2004, Delhi police arrested Dr Saurabh Srivastava of Shanti Mukund and Dr Mayank Pagte of GTB for alleged negligence after a petition was filed against the hospitals. They were later released on bail.

The nurse, who is not technically qualified, was planning to give her Class X examinations when the rape shattered her life. Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit gave the girl Rs 50,000 as compensation. She was also given a job as a Class IV employee at the GTB hospital.

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