In a horrifying incident, a 19-year-old girl, who had tested positive for COVID-19, was allegedly raped by an ambulance driver on the way to a treatment centre in Kerala's Pathanamthitta, the state police said on Sunday, September 6.
The ambulance driver, identified as Noufal, 29, has been taken into custody based on a complaint by the victim's mother to the hospital authorities and to the Kerala Police. He has also been dismissed from the Kanivu 108 Ambulance Services.
Noufal took victim to a desolate place
According to the Pathanamthitta Police, the unfortunate incident transpired happened late Saturday night when Noufal was tasked with taking two COVID-19 positive patients - an elderly woman and the 19-year-old - to different hospitals.
After dropping off the elderly patient, he drove the ambulance to a deserted place where he sexually assaulted the teenager who was to be taken to First-Line Treatment Centre (CFLTC).
"Health workers sent two women in an ambulance to two different hospitals. After dropping one patient, Noufal took the victim girl to a lonely place and sexually assaulted her. Later he dropped her at the COVID-19 care centre around midnight," the police said.
Girl records Noufals's confession
Pathanamthitta Superintendent of Police P K G Simon told reporters that they nabbed the Noufal, who is an accused in an earlier murder case, as soon as they were informed about the crime. Simon also said that the victim recorded the audio of the accused driver and that it forms crucial evidence in the case.
"The police was informed of the incident by 1 at night. The accused, a Kayamkulam native, was arrested by night itself. All pieces of evidence were collected by morning. The girl has a recording of the accused apologizing to her and this is crucial evidence," KG Simon said.
Meanwhile, Kerala Health Minister K K Shailaja said that strict instructions have been given to the police to take strong action against the culprit. "This is an unfortunate incident. We have given strict directions to take strong action against the culprit," she said in Thiruvananthapuram.
Opposition Congress and the BJP have lashed out at the Kerala government, demanding a high-level probe.