Amravati: A technician with a government hospital lab, Alpesh Deshmukh, who was arrested for molestation and rape after he took a vaginal swab from a woman for conducting a COVID-19 test, has been sent to judicial custody, officials said here on Friday.
"The accused has been sent to judicial custody after his police remand ended today. He has not applied for bail so far," Badnera Police Station IO Punjab Wanjari told IANS.
The shocking incident occurred on Tuesday (July 28), when the 23-year old complainant-victim had gone for a COVID-19 test to the Trauma Care Testing Lab (TCTL) in the Badnera Government Hospital, Amravati.
The woman, a shopping plaza employee, turned out to be a contact of a colleague who tested COVID-19 positive, and was sent along with 20 others to the TCTL for a COVID test.
After the test, Deshmukh, 30, called up the complainant to inform her that the COVID test was positive and she was required to undergo another urinal test.
"When she asked whether there were no female technicians for the second test, the accused replied in the negative, but allowed her to bring a female companion if she wanted," said Wanjari.
Deshmukh took the vaginal swab and later informed her that the test was negative, which aroused suspicion in the mind of the woman.
She confided in her brother who in turn enquired with a doctor and confirmed that there are no vaginal swab tests involved for COVID-19, after which a police complaint was lodged and the technician was arrested that night on serious charges of rape and molestation.
The incident sparked a furore with condemnation from Maharashtra Women and Child Development Minister Yashomati Thakur, Bhumata Ranragini Brigade President Trupti Desai and others, who termed it as 'an atrocity on women'.