Kerala

Coronavirus | COVID-19 patient raped inside ambulance in Kerala

Image for representation purpose only.  

In a shocking incident, a COVID-19 patient from Pathanamthitta was subjected to sexual assault inside an ambulance while being shifted to a COVID care centre on Saturday midnight.

The ambulance driver, identified as Noufal, 29, of Kayamkulam, was arrested in connection with the case.

According to the police, the victim, a 19-year-old woman, was being shifted to a COVID care centre at Pandalam from Adoor when the molestation took place. The victim, along with another 42-year-old female patient, had boarded the ambulance from Adoor late on Saturday.

Upon dropping the first patient at the District General Hospital at Kozhencherry, the ambulance then proceeded to a COVID care facility at Pandalam with the second patient. But as they reached Aranmula, the accused took a diversion to an isolated location and molested the patient on board. Following this, the accused apologised to the woman and soon dropped her at the destination.

On reaching the centre, the victim revealed the ordeal to the health officials on duty who in turn informed the police. After collecting the victim's statement, the police traced the location of the accused and took him to custody.

Preliminary investigations revealed that the accused had carefully planned the rape and hence diverted the ambulance through Kozhencherry instead of going straight to Pandalam from Adoor.

The official also confirmed that Noufal had been arraigned as an accused in an attempted culpable homicide case in Kayamkulam. A probe was on to trace his criminal antecedents.

The accused was booked under IPC Sections 375 for rape, 363 for kidnapping, 342 for wrongful confinement, 323 for voluntarily causing hurt and also under provisions of the SC/ST atrocities Act. He was later remanded to custody and put in an isolation unit.

Official sources said the case would be handed over to the Aranmula police station, where the incident actually took place.

Meanwhile, the incident triggered widespread protest in the district with the Youth Congress (YC) and Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) activists staging demonstrations accusing violation of the protocol by the District Medical Office in sending a female patient without escort.

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Printable version | Nov 30, 2020 2:12:30 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/covid-19-patient-in-kerala-raped-inside-ambulance/article32534481.ece

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