Ward boy molests KEM doctor in hospital lift

The Bhoiwada police on Thursday arrested a ward boy for molesting a 22-year-old female resident medical officer (RMO) of the KEM hospital after stopping the lift between 2nd and 3rd floor. The incident occurred around 12.30am in the hospital building when the victim on night duty took the lift to go to a medical neurology department on the third floor. 

Accused Popat Bhoware (35) also tried to grab her mouth when she screamed in the lift. Bhoware is suspended from job and the hospital sexual harassment team is probing the matter. 

The accused was caught by few patients' relatives, who stayed back at night on the second floor of the hospital building, when he jumped out of the lift on reaching third floor and tried to escape through the stairway. 

Bhoiwada police senior inspector Sunil Tondwalkar confirmed the incident. Bhoware has been booked under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections for 341 (wrongful restraint) and 354 (outraging modesty). 

KEM Hospital authorities were prompt to react to the seriousness of the allegation. 

"We have suspended the staffer pending an inquiry with immediate effect. It is a very serious allegation and we did not want anything to come in the way of a fair inquiry," said Dean Dr Shubhangi Parkar. 

She said that the resident doctor was brave and reacted quickly to the situation. "She screamed and ran out of the room. She also grabbed the accused when he was trying to flee the scene," said Parkar, adding that the doctor has already filed a complaint with the Bhoiwada police station. 

The hospital's prevention of sexual harassment committee will now investigate the allegations. 

The incident occurred seconds after few others present in the lift alighted on first floor. 

In the complaint, the victim said, "I took the lift from the ground floor when the accused, a female staff nurse and two patients' relatives were present in. They got out at first floor. The accused grabbed me immediately after the lift door closed and he pulled me towards him and misbehaved. When I tried to scream he closed my mouth and pressed the stop button and the lift got stuck in between second and third floors." 

The lift started after 2-3 minutes when someone called the lift from higher floor. The victim was unaware that the accused is employed in the hospital as ward boy for the last 15 years. 

"On reaching the third floor, the victim tried to open the lift door but Bhoware tried to close. He jumped out when the victim managed to open the door. She ran behind screaming which few patients relatives overheard and caught the accused on the second floor. He was later handed over to the security guard who identified him as ward boy," said inspector Kailash Chavan.

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