Published: 30th September 2020
AMU hospital doctor who treated Hathras girl says they never suspected rape till the victim woke up and told them a week later
The 19-year-old Dalit girl from Hathras, who was raped and assaulted, succumbed to her injuries on September 29. Her last rites were hurriedly carried out on Wednesday
Stung by the criticism and outrage on social media in the Hathras gangrape case, professors at the Aligarh Muslim University's Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College now claim that they did not check for rape or sexual assault because there had been no hint of it from either the victim, the investigating police officers or the family. A professor from the medical college, on condition of anonymity, told EdexLive that there was no allegation of rape either by the family or the police. "We treated her injuries. Nobody investigates any other angle unnecessarily," he says.
This claim, though, has raised some eyebrows as doctors across the spectrum have questioned how a thorough medical examination could have been done and treatment prescribed without noticing signs of sexual assault. Most states have a stringent protocol in place that include the administering of a rape kit when there is suspicion of sexual assault.
It was on September 14 that a 19-year-old woman was brought into the emergency wing of Aligarh Muslim University's Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College. Strangulated and beaten up, the doctors say that she was unconscious at that time. Immediately, she was admitted to the hospital's neurosurgery department, according to them.
The Dalit woman who hailed from Uttar Pradesh's Hathras village, was later discovered to have been brutally raped by a group of men, succumbed to her injuries on Tuesday — sparking widespread social media outrage as well as protests. The last rites were performed there in the wee hours of Wednesday. One of the major flashpoints is the allegation that the police started investigating this case as a rape, only a week after she was admitted to the hospital. There have been multiple accusations against the hospital, for not confirming the sexual assault.
The doctor, who claims to have met the survivor on September 22, says that she gained her consciousness on September 21. "The next day, she confessed that she was gangraped and even named the perpetrators. That was when the forensic and gynaecological examination began. However, by then, eight days had passed and it was impossible to collect the samples," he says. He added that the patient's tongue was cut during the strangulation and that her cervical bones were dislocated. She also suffered from other fractures and a spinal injury. "Her condition deteriorated after that day and she was shifted to the Trauma ICU on September 23 and subsequently, to the ICU on the September 24," he says.
The survivor was later shifted to Delhi's Safdarjung Hospital, where she breathed her last. He says that he was surprised that the police had not investigated the rape angle or had asked them about it. He also blamed the police for not acting fast. "Whatever happened with the girl was quite sad. The police and the government are at fault here. In fact, we did not expect this incident to blow up this fast," he says.
While addressing the media, Piyush Mordia, Inspector General (IG), Aligarh said that the medical examination of the body had not confirmed rape, according to a report in The New Indian Express. Reports that are coming in also say that a Special Investigation Team has been set up by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and that arrests of the accused are imminent.