A woman was brutally assaulted by her husband at the Government General Hospital in Chittoor on Sunday allegedly for refusing to have sex with him. The 34-year-old woman, who is an unconscious state, is being treated in the ICU in the same hospital. Doctors have said that her condition is still critical.
Chittoor Town SI Purushottam Reddy, who has been handling the case, said that the husband was taken into custody on Monday evening. “By the time I reached the hospital on Monday morning around 8:30am, she was already being treated. The sanitation supervisors and security guards of the hospital had attended to her and taken her to ICU,” said Reddy.
The woman, who is a daily wage worker, had been at the hospital for three days since her 10-year-old daughter had been admitted because of high fever. Her youngest daughter, who is 6 years old, was also at the hospital so her mother could take of her. Two other children, a 16-year-old son and 12-year-old daughter, were at their home.
Her husband, a 40-year-old construction worker, would visit the woman and the children in the hospital regularly. “According to some witnesses, he came to visit them in the evening on Sunday and brought them some food. They seemed to have a quarrel, and he left. He returned around 10pm in a drunken state, and the security guard asked him to leave. He somehow managed to enter the children’s ward on the first floor where his daughter was admitted,” said Reddy.
According to Reddy’s investigation, the accused persuaded his wife to accompany him to an isolated staircase leading to the terrace. Their youngest daughter went after them to bring her mother back, but the father sent her away to be with her sister. He then asked his wife to have sex with him, to which she refused. This angered him, and he allegedly attacked her.
“There are signs that he hit her head against the wall, and tried to strangle her, probably with her saree. The woman has suffered severe head injuries, nasal fracture, and there has been bleeding from her ears, nose and private parts. Because of the strangulation, oxygen supply to her brain was obstructed and she has suffered from hypoxia. She is still in an unconscious state, and her condition is critical,” said Pandurangaiah, the Superintendent of Chittoor Government General Hospital.
The woman was found on the staircase on Monday morning, when her youngest daughter, worried that her mother hadn’t returned to the ward all night, went back to find her. According to Reddy, the woman was found lying in a pool of blood, with signs of her clothes having been forcefully removed. The accused did not try to escape after the incident and simply returned to his house. He has told the police that he believed his wife had been sexually involved with someone in an extramarital relationship, and that she kept refusing to have sex with him.
According to Superintendent Pandurangaiah, the accused was initially sent away by the security guard, since men are not allowed to enter the Maternity and Child Health block at night. “He somehow managed to enter the first floor again. This is a serious lapse in security. Since the security guards are employed and managed by Apollo, we’ve asked the administration to conduct an inquiry into the incident and submit the report,” said Pandurangaiah.
The Chittoor Government General Hospital is managed by Apollo Hospitals on a lease from the state government in 2016.
As of now, the police have registered a case under IPC Section 307 (attempt to murder). They are awaiting the gynaecologist’s medical examination reports to take a call regarding charges of sexual assault. Meanwhile, the woman’s relatives have been taking care of her children.