Pune: Hadapsar police have arrested a 40-year-old ward boy working on a contractual basis with a hospital on charges of molesting a 35-year-old woman patient admitted for COVID-19 treatment on Friday (July 31) in the city.
Police have identified the suspect as Ashok Namdev Gavali (40). He has been arrested after the concerned patient, a 35-year-old woman residing in Hadapsar filed a complaint against him at the Hadapsar police station. Gavali has been charged under section 354 (Assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) of the Indian Penal Code.
According to the complainant, she was admitted in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at the Sahyadri Hospital in Hadapsar on July 22 and had tested positive for COVID-19. She was under treatment and recovering from the disease. She was shifted to the general ward on Friday (July 31) as her condition was stable.
On that day around 6 pm, the patient was taking rest when Gavali approached her. Gavali was wearing personal protective equipment and a mask when he came near the patient. Gavali asked her whether she remembered him. When the patient refused to entertain him, Gavali came close and asked for her mobile number. When the patient refused to give her mobile number, Gavali touched her inappropriately. Coincidentally, another female staff member of the hospital came to that location and recognised Gavali. The female staffer questioned Gavali after which he fled from the spot.
The patient then informed hospital authorities about the incident and Gavali's offensive behaviour. Police said that Gavali was deputed at the hospital by a private company as a contractual worker. Hospital administration said that they have terminated Gavali's contractual engagement and handed him over to police. Police Inspector Ramesh Sathe from Hadapsar police station confirmed to media persons that Gavali has been arrested and is in police custody. Further investigations are going on, Sathe added.