Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) [India], September 7 (ANI): Women wings of Congress and BJP on Monday staged protests here demanding the resignation of Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja over alleged rape of a COVID-19 positive woman by an ambulance driver in Pathanamthitta.
Members of the Mahila Congress in Thiruvanathapuram stated protest in front of Secretariat while BJP's Mahila Morcha took out a protest march to secretariat over the issue.
Lakshmi, Mahila Congress District President said that the Health Department has completely failed to provide adequate safety and security to women COVID patients.
"The heinous crime of the rape of 19-year-old COVID-19 positive woman by ambulance driver is shocking and brought shame to the entire state. The health department that boasts of providing all necessary facilities for COVID treatment has completely failed and there is not even water available in COVID hospitals," she told ANI.
"Now the state is advocating home quarantine of COVID patients as the government has failed to provide necessary facilities in hospitals. Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja should immediately step down from her post taking moral responsibility of all these lapses, " she added.
Demanding Shailaja's resignation, BJP district secretary VV Rajesh said that the Health Minister has failed to put in place a system for COVID management.
"If there was a woman health worker present or a security present in the ambulance an incident would have never happened. The rape of a 19-year-old woman inside an ambulance is a very cruel incident. The Health Minister should resign immediately, " Rajesh said.
Kerala Police has arrested an ambulance driver for allegedly raping a 19-year-old COVID-19 positive girl at Aranmula in Pathanamthitta district. The accused has been identified as Noufal (25).
According to the police, the test results of the alleged victim who was in quarantine at her relative's house in Panthalam had returned positive on Saturday.
"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," police said.
Aranmula police arrested Noufal in the night itself on the basis of the girl's statement and charged him with rape.
Shailaja had directed GVK company, the operational partner of the state health department's '108 ambulance service' to dismiss the driver.
She also said the incident was shocking and directed the police to take action to ensure strong punishment to the accused. (ANI)