Express News Service
ARANMULA: A 19-year-old COVID-19 patient was raped in an ambulance by its driver on Saturday night at Aranmula in Kerala’s Pathanamthitta district.
The accused identified as Noufal (29) was arrested from the premises of Adoor general hospital at Panakkachirayil in Kayamkulam south, early on Sunday.
The culprit had threatened the girl not to tell anyone about the incident, said an officer at Adoor police station, where the case is registered.
The incident took place when the ambulance was taking the patient from Kozhencherry on the way to Pandalam.
A 42-year-old housewife, a native of Vadakkadathukavu in Adoor and the 19-year-old girl had tested positive for COVID-19. They arrived at Adoor hospital on Saturday evening, but there were no vacant beds.
Therefore the young girl was directed to the COVID-19 First-Line Treatment Center (CFLTC) at Pandalam while the elder woman was directed for shifting to Kozhenchery district hospital.
The driver had to reach Kozhencherry via Thumpaman instead of the Kulanada-Aranmula route. The second route is a shorter and easy way to reach Kozhenchery. The girl could have been dropped off at Pandalam first if the ambulance had gone through the MC road, police said.
Instead, the driver dropped the 42-year-old woman first at the Kozhencherry district hospital around 1 am on Sunday. After that, he drove the ambulance via Aranmula.
Police said he parked the ambulance on the way toward the airport project in Aranmula. The girl was forcibly tortured after opening the back door of the ambulance. The driver removed his own PPE kit while committing the crime, police said.
Then he dropped off the girl at Pandalam and went to Adoor General Hospital by ambulance. The girl reported the incident to health workers at the First-Line Treatment Center in Pandalam.
Following this, the information was handed over to the Pandalam police. According to Pandalam police, the Adoor SI arrested the accused on Sunday morning. As the incident took place in Aranmula, the case will be handed over to Aranmula police later.
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