Kerala police arrests ambulance driver who allegedly raped a 19-year-old COVID patient

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A 29-year-old ambulance driver, hailing from Alappuzha district, allegedly raped a 19-year-old coronavirus positive patient, on an empty deserted ground near Aranmula airport, where he diverted the ambulance while they were on the way to COVID First Line Treatment Centre (CFLTC) in Pandalam on Saturday night.

According to the reports, the driver had two passengers, an elderly woman whom he dropped off to a hospital and the 19-year-old girl whom he sexually exploited.

After the crime, the accused, Nowfal, dropped off the woman to the COVID centre at midnight, said the police.

The Aranmula police said that they arrested Nowfal within hours of the crime on Sunday night based on the survivor’s complaint which was lodged after she told her mother about the night’s ordeals and a medical examination report that confirmed the sexual assault. A case has been filed against the accused, charging him on sexual assault and rape. He has also been removed from the Kanivu 108-ambulance service as per Kerala health minister KK Shailaja’s orders.
The police also found the driver involved in several criminal cases before this case, an attempt to murder case being one of them.

The victim is undergoing special counselling in the same COVID hospital that she is being treated in and will be produced to court via virtual mode, said the police.

KG Simon, superintendent of police (SP), Pathanamthitta has said that they have collected all the evidence and will fast track the trial to hand out stringent punishment to the accused.

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