Kerala Ambulance Driver, Who Raped COVID-19 Patient, Dismissed 

Ambulance driver Noufal V allegedly raped a COVID-19 patient while taking her to the hospital.

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Gender
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Ambulance driver Noufal V<a href="https://www.thequint.com/neon/gender/kerala-covid-19-patient-sexually-assaulted-by-ambulance-driver"> allegedly raped a COVID-19 patient </a>while taking her to the hospital.
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Noufal V, the ambulance driver who allegedly raped a COVID-19 patient while taking her to the hospital, has been terminated from service. GVK EMRI, the company that hires ambulance drivers, in an order on Sunday, 6 September, said that the driver has been dismissed from service, considering the “serious misconduct he did and the disrepute he brought to the organisation.”

“A complaint lodged by a beneficiary of the 108 ambulance regarding sexual assault and the same has been informed to us by the police department and being part of the services you have brought serious disrepute to the organisation. You have been convicted under a criminal offense involving serious allegations of committing assault which you were directly involved and arrested for, your employment is being terminated with immediate effect,” the letter reads.

WHY THIS MATTERS

Noufal was a driver in Kerala’s 108 Kanivu, a free ambulance service network as part of the comprehensive trauma care system for government hospitals.

He was taking two women who tested positive for the novel coronavirus in the ambulance on Saturday, 5 September. While he dropped off one woman at a hospital, he allegedly raped the 19-year-old after halting the ambulance in a deserted place. He later dropped her off at a hospital in Pandalam.

WHAT IS THE BIG POINT?

The driver was arrested on the same day. It has also emerged that Noufal was previously accused of attempt to murder in 2019.

YES, BUT...

The Kerala BJP has demanded that Health Minister KK Shailaja resign from her post due to the incident. The party’s Mahila Morcha staged protest outside the secretariat on Monday, 7 September.

However, the minister had said that 108 ambulance drivers are assigned through an agency and that the agency had been informed to remove him from service.

“The drivers are recruited through an interview. There will be an inquiry on why the person’s criminal background was not checked,” she said.

(This article was first published on The News Minute and has been republished with permission.)

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