An employee of the Government Medical College in Kerala's Kozhikode was arrested on the evening of Monday, 20 March, for allegedly sexually assaulting a woman who had undergone surgery and was not in a fully conscious state.
The Medical College Police told The Quint that the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) attender, identified as K Saseendran, 55, a native of Villiappally near Vadakara in Kozhikode district, was booked under Section 354 of the Indian Penal Code (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty).
He is now under judicial custody, according to the police.
What happened? The woman underwent a surgery on Saturday, 18 March. According to her complaint to the Medical College police, she was being shifted from the operation theatre to the ICU when Saseendran allegedly sexually assaulted her. She was still under the influence of anesthesia.
The incident occurred when other ICU staff were away attending to another patient in a critical condition. The woman informed a nurse later, who then alerted the hospital authorities.
Saseendran absconded after he was booked and was taken into custody on Monday, according to the police. He has been suspended from service at the hospital, and Kerala Health Minister Veena George has launched an inquiry into the incident.
Second such case since February: The Kozhikode Medical College incident comes nearly a month after a woman was sexually assaulted in an ambulance by a hospital employee.
On 3 February, the woman, who had reportedly consumed poison in a suicide attempt, was being taken to the Government Medical College in Thrissur from the Kodungallur Taluk Hospital in the same district.
The accused, Dayalal, who was a contract employee in the electrical department of taluk hospital, got into the ambulance pretending that he was her relative, according to Onmanorama.
He assaulted her in the ambulance and in the casualty. Dayalal was arrested after the woman complained to the duty nurse at Thrissur Medical College, who informed the police.
Woman assaulted in Kerala's capital: More recently, a woman was brutally assaulted in broad daylight near the General Hospital Junction in Thiruvananthapuram. The woman was in the area to buy medicines on her two-wheeler when she realised a stranger was following her.
The woman returned home and the man allegedly entered her compound, groped her, and attacked her. She sustained injuries on her left eye, head, and cheeks. According to Mathrubhumi, her daughter informed Petta Police, but the personnel on duty allegedly "ignored her complaint."
According to reported, the personnel, Ranjith and Jayaraj, who responded to her complaint, did not record her statement nor reported the matter to higher authorities. They have now been suspended.
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