A four-year-old girl was gang-raped by a nurse and four other people while she was being treated for a snake bite in an intensive care unit, according to reports. The incident occurred in a hospital in Lucknow, India, where the girl was alone.
According to local police official Mahesh Srivastava, the incident came to light after the girl told her grandmother she was raped by a hospital attendant and four other people on Saturday night.
The official confirmed that one man has been taken into custody and detectives are looking for the others involved in the crime. Police have also asked for CCTV footage of the area around the intensive care unit to determine why the girl was left alone in the room. Authorities said that the girl was in the hospital for four days and was being treated for a snake bite when the incident occurred. The hospital is located 250 kilometers southwest of Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh.
Reports state that the child told her grandmother about her ordeal after she was shifted from the ICU. "The victim narrated her ordeal after she was shifted to the general ward. A case has been registered and an investigation is underway,” a police official was quoted as saying by ANI.
India has witnessed a series of high-profile sexual assault incidents in recent years, sparking countrywide protests for strict and swift actions against such perpetrators. The government, under fire from public pressure after the infamous gangrape and murder of a student on a moving bus in 2012, had passed a series of legislations increasing punishment for rape of an adult upto 20 years of imprisonment.
Reports also state that the Indian government, earlier this year, had approved the death penalty for perpetrators convicted of sexually assaulting children under the age of 12.