Navi Mumbai: In March, a 40-year-old doctor in Mumbai was slammed with POCSO for allegedly molesting a 14-year-old patient while examining her for COVID-19. In May, a senior doctor in one of the renowned hospitals in Mumbai city had tried to sexually assault a 44-year-old man when he was admitted for COVID-19 symptoms. There are similar cases of attempts of abuse that have taken place across the city and also around the world where the vulnerable ones have been taken advantage of when they are isolated or quarantined in any place that is mandated for the same.
Now, a 25-year-old man has been booked by the police for sexually assaulting a 40-year-old homemaker at a COVID-19 quarantine facility in Panvel region, where both were subsequently admitted. The accused pretended to be a doctor and took advantage of her and raped her. The incident took place on Thursday evening and is the first instance of rape reported from a quarantine facility in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR).
The accused, a resident of Panvel, used to work at a mall but has been unemployed since the lockdown. The homemaker lives in Kharghar with her husband and two children. She was brought to the quarantine centre with a suspicion that she has symptoms of coronavirus and was under observation in the quarantine facility. She was admitted to the Indiabulls quarantine facility in Kongaon on Wednesday and the accused was admitted on Thursday. "On Thursday evening, hours after arriving, he [the accused] went to the woman's room. During their conversation, she told her she was having leg pain. He claimed he is a doctor and offered to give her a leg massage. He then sexually assaulted her and left," said an officer from Panvel rural police station as reported by Hindustan Times.
The woman later reported the assault to a staff member and the police was informed. "We have booked the accused under sections 376 (rape) and 354 (assault or criminal force to a woman) of the Indian Penal Code. He is currently not under arrest as he has tested positive and is getting treatment for COVID-19," said Ashok Rajput, senior inspector of Panvel rural police station.