A health inspector in India has been arrested for raping a nurse who approached him for a coronavirus-negative certificate.
Police in Kerala say the alleged victim, 44, had been ordered to self-isolate in August upon returning home to state capital Thiruvananthapuram after working in the north as a home nurse.
She tested negative for Covid-19 after the two weeks of quarantine were up, but required an official negative certificate in order to return to work as a nurse.
The woman claims that when she contacted the junior health inspector for the certificate, he insisted she visit him at his home in Pangode to pick it up.
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When she arrived he forced her to spend the day with him, during which time he allegedly assaulted and raped her.
She says the man threatened to tell police she had broken quarantine laws if she refused to do as he said.
"A medical examination confirmed sexual assault," said Inspector P. Suneesh, who is investigating the case.
"He was booked under different sections of the Indian Penal Code including rape, illegal detention and assault."
Kerala health minister KK Shailaja said the state government would impose a heavy penalty on the alleged attacker.
"Health workers are toiling day in and out these days," he told local media.
"But such unfortunate incidents will give a negative impression and portray their work in a bad light. We will take stringent action against the offenders and ensure such sad incidents do not recur."
It's the second alleged rape involving an Indian healthcare worker in a week.
On August 29 a 22-year-old woman who was being taken to hospital in central Kerala's Pathanamthitta district claimed that the driver sexually assaulted her on the way.
The suspect was quickly arrested and opposition politicians have demanded the health minister's resignation.
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