COVID positive ambulance rape victim has serious injuries, unable to testify

COVID positive ambulance rape victim has serious injuries, unable to testify
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Pathanamthitta: The 19-year-old COVID positive girl who was sexually assaulted in an ambulance by its driver has sustained serious injuries and is not in a condition to testify as she is both mentally and physically devastated, the police said.

She fell inside the ambulance hurting her knees as she struggled to get out of the driver’s grip and she has suffered damage to her private parts, the police said.

They said the driver, Noufal (29), had planned the assault. He was to take the girl, who was put in his ambulance on Saturday around 10 pm after she tested positive, to a Pandalam COVID First-Line Treatment Centre (CFLTC). He, however, took her first to Kozhencherry and then to a hospital in Pandalam.

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While he drove fast to Kozhencherry, where he had to drop another COVID positive woman at the taluk hospital, he slowed down the vehicle while going from there to the Pandalam treatment centre, the police said. During the whole length of the journey, the accused talked with a sexual tone, they said.

He took the vehicle to the place in Aranmula that was earlier being considered for an airport. He parked the vehicle at the desolate spot, got out of it and opened the door at the back of the vehicle. The girl screamed and cried in fear when he approached her after closing the door from the inside. The girl fell to the ground on her knees in her struggle to protect herself and free from him, the police said.

Another case has also been registered against Noufal for abducting the girl. He took the girl from Adoor to Kozhencherry instead of taking her to the Archana COVID First-Line Treatment Centre in Pandalam that was near her house, and this can be construed as abduction, the police said.

The police have rejected the motor vehicle department’s claim that the ambulance's Global Positioning System (GPS) was not working.

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Noufal

District police chief KG Simon said investigators have been able to collect the GPS information. However, Pathanamthitta RTO GG George said that GPS is not mandatory for ambulances and the law states it is required only for permit vehicles. He said the motor vehicle department has not examined the ambulance involved in the incident but a detailed examination can be done if the police request it.

The police are trying to find out if anyone else was involved in the crime.

Representatives of the company that runs the 108 ambulance service handed over documents related to Noufal's appointment to the police. The company said that Noufal had not produced the police clearance certificate despite repeated requests.

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