Delhi: Sexual Assault at ‘COVID-Care Centre’

In times of a pandemic when the authorities are busy tackling the virus, the focus from sexual assault and violence against women has taken a backseat. However, there is no reduction in these incidents as many COVID care centre and hospitals have turn out to be the place of such acts.

On Thursday, one such incident of sexual assault was reported in New Delhi. A 14-year-old girl was allegedly assaulted by another patient at Sardar Patel COVID Care Centre in Chhatarpur. The COVID centre with 10,000 beds was recently inaugurated by Lt Governor of Delhi, Anil Baijal.

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The centre is one of the largest COVID facilities in the country. It is run by Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and almost 100 personnel had been deployed there. The incident occurred on the night of 15th July, a week after the girl and the accused were admitted to the centre. The girl had gone to the washroom where the accused, a 19-year old man, assaulted her. He even asked his friend to film the scene on his phone.

The girl narrated her ordeal to a relative who then reported it to the ITBP official. The police then arrested the two men involved. After the incident, the victim and the two accused were admitted to separate facilities.Police have registered the case under sections of punishment for sexual assault and the relevant provisions of the Protection of Children for Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.

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Aligarh: Doctor attempts sexual assault on COVID patient

In another case, a woman accused a 30-year-old doctor of trying to sexually assault her. She was visiting a relative in Aligarh where she developed symptoms. As her sample tested positive, she was admitted to the Deen Dayal Hospital. There, she alleged that the doctor attempted sexual assault twice, on the pretext of medical examination.

The doctor was then arrested on the complaint of the woman. “We are questioning hospital authorities…Further investigation is on”, a senior police officer told Indian Express.

Such incidents being reported from places like hospital and care centres represent the grim situation of women during the pandemic. According to research by the University of California, Los Angeles, more women faced domestic violence in red zones of India, areas where severe lockdown measures were in force. The report mapped the complaints with India’s National Commission for Women and found that the number of cases went up during May. Such reports give an insight into the safety of women in the present situation.  

Written By Shiwangi, She is doing her Masters in Mass Communication from GGS IP University, New Delhi.

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