Police to move court against doctor who refused to treat minor gang-rape victim

Express News Service
GUWAHATI: Police in Meghalaya’s South Garo Hills district are moving the court against a doctor who denied treatment to a minor gang-rape victim citing jurisdictional issues.

The action of the doctor forced the 14-year-old girl to travel 75 km for treatment in another hospital.

Police said they were taking up the matter with the government as well as approaching the court.

“There are two aspects to it. One is the administrative decision. So, we are taking up the matter with the government. The second is the legal aspect. As such, we are moving the court. If the court says the doctor’s action is a cognisable offence, we will register a case (against him),” South Garo Hills Superintendent of Police, Rituraj Ravi S told this newspaper.

He said the girl was in shock although physically fine. The police arrested all the four accused persons, he added.

Following the incident of sexual assault on the girl at Nongalbibra in South Garo Hills, the victim was rescued by the police and taken to the government-run Civil Hospital at Williamnagar, some 22 km away, in East Garo Hills district.

However, the doctor there refused treatment to her on the grounds that the crime was committed in another district and was being investigated by the police there.

“A case of a 14-year-old, who was reportedly raped by four persons, has been sent here for opinion and medical examination. Since the case has been requisitioned by Nongalbibra police station under South Garo Hills district, Meghalaya, therefore, the case for opinion and medical opinion is referred to Baghmara Civil Hospital, South Garo Hills,” the doctor had written on the hospital medical slip.

Eventually, the victim was taken to Baghmara, the district headquarters of South Garo Hills, located 75 km away from Williamnagar.

The locals said there were several such instances in the past when the Williamnagar hospital authority denied treatment to rape victims citing jurisdictional issues.