India rape victim says sexually assaulted again in hospital

(Sajjan Hussain, AFP)
(Sajjan Hussain, AFP)

New Delhi - A teenage rape victim was allegedly sexually assaulted a second time while in hospital receiving treatment for the original attack in India's east, police said on Monday, in the latest case of violence against women.

The 15-year-old girl has told police that she was raped on Sunday by a security guard at the hospital where she had been admitted in Jamshedpur city in the impoverished state of Jharkhand.

"We registered a case and arrested the private security guard posted at the hospital after the girl's complaint and are now awaiting her medical report," police superintendent Chandan Jha told AFP.

"The girl has [now] been referred to the best hospital in the city for further treatment and rehabilitation," he added.

The girl had been admitted several days earlier to the MGM Hospital after informing police that she had been raped by a teenager in her neighbourhood on the city's outskirts.

"Since the accused in the earlier case was also a minor, he was detained and sent to a juvenile remand home," Jha said.

Public hospitals in India are often poorly resourced, with lax security, while overworked doctors and nurses struggle to cope with a crush of patients and families.

The fatal gang-rape of a student on a bus in Delhi in 2012 shone a global spotlight on frightening levels of sexual violence against women.

It also led to major reform of India's rape laws including speeding up of trials and hiking penalties for offenders, but high numbers of assaults persist.

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