Kerala Official Allegedly Rapes Woman Who Needed COVID-19 Papers, Arrested

The complainant has alleged that the official had allegedly asked her to come to his house. On reaching his house, the woman said she was allegedly wrongfully confined, tied-up, physically assaulted and raped.

The medical examination of the woman has been done, police said (Representational)

Thiruvananthapuram:

A health official in Kerala's Thiruvananthapuram has been arrested for allegedly raping a 44-year-old woman, who was seeking a coronavirus negative certificate from him.

The complainant has alleged that the official, who is a junior health inspector, had allegedly asked her to come to his house to get the certificate, police said. On reaching his house, the woman said she was allegedly wrongfully confined, tied-up, physically assaulted and raped.

"The official allegedly physically assaulted her, tied her hands and mouth for some time in between, and raped her. The medical examination has been done. Further investigation is underway. A case has been registered under section 376 of the IPC," Circle Inspector Suneesh told NDTV.

The woman had returned to her home recently and was asked to undergo quarantine by an official.

She underwent an antigen test which was negative and was told by the accused to collect the test certificate from his house where she was allegedly raped, police said.

Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja has ordered for the suspension of the official, identified as Pradeep, from service, pending enquiry.

The Women's commission has also registered a case against the official.

The incident comes a day after an ambulance driver was arrested for the alleged rape of a 19-year-old woman in Kerala's Pathanamthitta, based on a complaint.

Preliminary probe suggests that he was hired by the company last year without a police clearance certificate.

"He has been terminated from the service. We had sent several reminders to few of the recruits asking for the police clearance certificates to be submitted. The accused had submitted a letter saying he has requested for a police clearance certificate but did not submit any," a senior official of GVK EMRI told NDTV.

Condemning both cases, leader of the opposition in the state assembly Ramesh Chennithala said the two incidents of rape has brought shame to the state. These incidents shows the "serious lapses" on the part of the health department, news agency PTI quoted him as saying.

(With inputs from PTI)