KARACHI: The Sindh health department has sacked Dr Abdul Jabbar Memon, a medico-legal officer at Jinnah hospital, who has been accused of raping a trainee nurse on Tuesday.
The nurse was treated for head injuries after jumping from the first floor flat in the doctors’ colony allegedly to escape Memon. She has regained consciousness after surgery and according to JPMC’s Dr Seemin Jamali, is out of danger and can now recognise people. “She is responding to questions,” she told the media.
The case’s investigation officer, Rao Mubashir, said they had yet to record her statement. On Saturday, the police surgeon and special secretary for public health Captain Abdul Majid visited the nurse but were unable to get a statement either. Doctors said she may be able to give one in two days.
The nurse has blackeyes and can barely see from her swollen right eye. She is being kept in the surgical ICU at Jinnah hospital but visitors are limited. “Let me go home otherwise they will kill me,” she is reported to be repeatedly saying. Her mother keeps reassuring her that she is safe. “Who are they?” the nurse keeps asking when she sees paramedical staff standing around her. A doctor on duty said that the nurse is drifting in and out of consciousness. Professor Sattar Hashim, the neurosurgeon who operated on the nurse, told The Express Tribune that she was still disoriented and it would take about four to five days for her to give any statement.
Several political leaders and members of the government have visited her and ensured their photographs were taken.
The nurse’s parents hail from the Punjab but were living in Korangi No. 1. Her mother told The Express Tribune that someone had been calling the nurse with threats about one week back but she did not give her family any names. She had stopped going to work at the hospital. “She decided to return later,” her mother said. “She told us that her madam had assured her [she would be safe].” The day she went back to nursing school, the incident occured.
IO Mubashir and his team have some witnesses but are waiting for the nurse’s statement before they can proceed with the investigation. For his part, the MLO, Dr Jabbar, has denied any involvement. According to Mubashir, the case has become so high profile that intelligence personnel are holding their own investigation. “We have learnt that some people have also been picked up by the agencies,” he said. “But we are not sure who they are.”
Meanwhile, the nurses from outside Jinnah hospital have backed their colleagues. Protests were held in Lyari General Hospital, Abbasi Shaheed Hospital, Civil hospital and the Ojha Institute of Chest Diseases.
The Jinnah hospital administration has issued letters to all the residents of the hostel to be present in their rooms on July 19 so that action can be taken against illegal occupants.
Dr Memon had several run-ins with the authorities. He was suspended two months ago for failing to comply with orders and answer show-cause notices. There were 13 offences including a failure to appear in court, breaking the lock and illegally occupying flat No. 61, causing a disruption in the casualty department, failing to appear before the provincial mohtasib and tampering with medico-legal reports.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 18th, 2010.
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