She endured 4-month ordeal; ‘had blood clot, probably endured from an injury’

A minor orphan girl who was reported to have been sexually assaulted by a ‘benefactor’ of the protection home where she had stayed, breathed her last while undergoing treatment at Niloufer Hospital on in the wee hours of Wednesday.

The girl’s condition worsened during the last 48 hours of her life, and doctors could not save her despite placing her in ICU and on ventilator. While the post mortem report is yet to be shared, sources from the Women and Child Development Department informed that the girl’s brain had a blood clot, probably endured from an injury on her head. Besides, she had been suffering from vaginal infection for the past four months owing to the sexual assault, without any medical attention whatsoever.

The child, between 12-14 years of age, did not receive immediate medical help even after a case was registered with the police on July 31. She was examined by a doctor at the Bharosa Centre the next day and sent away with her aunt. She was later sent to the government run shelter home in Nimboli Adda after being referred there by the Child Welfare Committee on August 3. She was admitted in the Niloufer Hospital only on August 7, after she got seriously ill at the home. Delay in admitting the girl in hospital is suspected to be one of the reasons behind her tragic death. The victim was staying at Maruthi Orphanage in Deeptisri Nagar where she was admitted in 2015 after her parents’ death. As per the details shared by her aunt Preeti, the girl was taken home by one of her uncles, Anil, on March 21, after being informed by the home that she had had a fall and got injured. However, soon after, the uncle started making rounds of the orphanage asking them to take the girl back, which the caretaker had refused. Vexed, the uncle left her at Preeti’s place, where, upon much goading, the girl revealed her ordeal at the protection home.

As per the FIR, she was repeatedly sexually assaulted at the home by one Venugopal, who got donations for the home. Caretaker Vijaya allegedly assisted him by sending the girl to him.

By the time the victim reached her uncle’s home, she had lost urine and bowel control and got sick frequently, due to which the uncle and his wife had beaten her, and starved her.

Though this was shared with the police as well as child protection authorities by her aunt Preeti, no effort was made to send her to hospital, sources say. Private hospitals approached by the aunt refused treatment as it was a medico-legal case. Three persons, including the prime accused Venugopal, and the caretakers Vijaya and Jayadeep were arrested by the police only on August 7, a week after the FIR. The girl’s uncle Anil too has been booked for physical abuse of the girl, officials informed.

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