A 15-year-old girl was allegedly raped by a security guard at the COVID-19 quarantine center of the Patna Medical College Hospital where she was admitted after being rescued from a railway station, police said on Thursday.
The accused, Mahesh (40), was arrested on Wednesday night after being booked under the POCSO Act and other relevant IPC sections by the Pir Bahore police station, according to Arti Jaiswal, the in-charge of the women's police station.
"The accused is being sent to jail while the victim will be undergoing medical tests on Thursday, as is the norm for all sexual assault survivors," Jaiswal said.
The girl had run away from her home in Nalanda district more than a week ago and reached Barh railway station on the outskirts of Patna to catch a train for Kolkata where her father is a daily wage-earner, police said.
She was spotted by Government Railway Police (GRP) personnel who informed the child helpline. The child helpline personnel, taking note of the girl's tender age and her disturbed frame of mind, convinced her not to undertake the journey and brought her to the hospital's quarantine ward for COVID-19 suspects as a precautionary measure, they said.
On the night of July 8, a few hours after the girl's arrival at the hospital, she was caught hold of by the accused inside the bathroom and allegedly raped. The accused also threatened her with dire consequences if she spilled the beans and, as per the FIR, kept harassing her sexually.
She finally decided to speak up when another girl, carrying a mobile phone, was similarly brought to the hospital by child helpline a couple of days ago. Using the fellow inmate's phone, she narrated her ordeal to the helpline personnel who informed the police.
"Her COVID-19 test report is negative. After her examination, for the sexual assault, by a six-member medical board is over, she will be sent to a shelter home by the child helpline," Jaiswal said.
State women's commission chairperson Dilmani Mishra said, "We are waiting for the medical reports of the girl. We will ensure that justice is done in the matter."