New Delhi: A 14-year-old girl who was undergoing treatment at the Sardar Patel COVID Care Centre in south Delhi’s Chhatarpur was sexually assaulted by another coronavirus patient, police said on Thursday.
The incident took place on the night of July 15, when the girl had gone to the washroom.
The 19-year-old man who sexually assaulted her was arrested along with one of his associates, the police said, adding that both have been sent to judicial custody. The associate is accused of standing guard and filming the assault on his mobile phone.
The 10,000-bed COVID care centre at the Radha Soami Satsang Beas, which was inaugurated earlier this month by Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal, has been set up in Chhatarpur for treating mild and asymptomatic coronavirus patients.
According to the Hindustan Times, just 250 of the more than 10,000 beds are currently occupied. Though the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) had said at the time of the centre’s opening that 1,000 officers would be deployed for security arrangements, only 100 have been deployed in shifts due to the low occupancy.
The girl and the accused, who lived in a slum cluster here, were admitted at the centre along with their relatives, the police said. The girl narrated the incident to one of her relatives who was also undergoing treatment at the centre. The matter was then reported to an ITBP official, who informed the police, an official at the centre said.
According to the police, in her complaint, the girl alleged that she was sexually assaulted by the man. She also accused the man’s associate of capturing the act of sexual assault on a mobile phone.
The police said the associate, also aged 19 years, did not sexually assault the girl.
Based on her complaint, a case was registered against the two men under section 376 (punishment for sexual assault) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the relevant provisions of the Protection Of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, a senior police officer said.
“The two have been arrested and sent to judicial custody. We are investigating the matter further,” he added.
After the incident, the victim was shifted to another COVID care centre and the two accused, who are currently under judicial custody, were also sent to another centre, where they are being treated, the officer said.
The mobile phones of the accused have been seized, the police said.
Another incident reported at Panvel quarantine centre
A similar incident of assault was reported at the quarantine facility at Indiabulls at Kon village in Panvel, where a 25-year-old COVID-19 patient was booked for raping a 40-year-old woman.
According to The Hindu, on July 16, the accused pretended to be a doctor and entered the complainant’s room and proceeded to rape her.
The woman complained to the authorities at the centre and an FIR was registered on July 17.
(With PTI inputs)