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Driver rapes Covid patient in ambulance on way to hospital

Published : Monday, 7 September, 2020 at 4:05 PM  Count : 570

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In a shocking incident, a 20-year-old Covid-19 patient was raped by an ambulance driver while shifting her to a Covid special hospital in Pandalam district under Kerala State of India on Saturday night. Police have arrested the accused, Noufal V, 25, of Kayamkulam, under IPC sections for rape while the private firm operating the Kaniv 108 ambulance service has terminated him from service.

Pathanamthitta district police chief K G Simon said the woman was being taken from her uncle’s residence at Vadakkedathukavu near Adoor to the hospital. “She was picked up from the house around 10pm and dropped at Adoor CFLTC, from where Noufal picked her up along with an elderly woman. He committed the crime at a secluded place near Aranmula after dropping the other woman at Kozhencherry CFLTC,” he said.

The woman informed the matter to the staff at Pandalam CFLTC where she was taken to. The superintendent of police said the accused, who has been working with the ambulance service for nearly a year, was booked for attempting to commit culpable homicide in an assault case in Alappuzha earlier.

The opposition UDF and BJP have demanded a highlevel probe into the incident. Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala said lapses on the part of the government led to the crime. “The woman was sent alone in an ambulance with the culprit... Police now say he has a criminal background; why was this not considered before he was appointed?” he asked.

BJP state chief K Surendran said the incident highlighted the failure of the government. “We demand the resignation of the health minister,” he said.

Pathanamthitta district medical officer A L Sheeja said government nurses accompanied patients in ambulances only if their condition was serious as the service was being managed by a private firm. ‘’As per regulations, an emergency medical technician (EMT) has to go in the ambulance, but in this case only the driver was present. We do not know why the EMT was absent,” she said.

The DMO said the rape survivor was one of the 148 persons tested positive for the virus in the district on Saturday. Her mother and sister were tested positive three days ago and she had moved to her uncle's residence after they were admitted to Pandalam CFLTC. ‘’There was a delay in tracking her as we first went to her residence in Pandalam,” she said, explaining why the ambulance was sent at night to pick her up.

Terming the incident as extremely painful, health minister K K Shailaja said strict action would be taken against the accused. She said according to the private firm, Noufal was hired on the basis of his past experience with 108 ambulance service in Alappuzha during 2014-15. The state women’s commission has registered a suo motu case and sought a report from the district police chief. The state human rights commission has also registered a case and sought reports from the state police chief and the health secretary within 15 days.

TNN



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