Driver who misused Kerala govt vehicle for stalking, held –

Thiruvananthapuram, Nov 2 (IANS): A week after a man stalked and misbehaved with a lady doctor, the Kerala police identified him as the driver of a government car and took him into custody.
The accused was identified as Santhosh who stalked and misbehaved with the woman while she was out on morning walk in the state capital city.
The man worked as a driver on contract of the official vehicle of the private secretary of a Kerala Minister. It has come to light that he used the Innova car bearing a Govt of Kerala registration board for his needs during nights.
Last Wednesday, he stalked and attacked the doctor while she was walking in the compound of the state-run Museum and fled.
The woman immediately raised an alarm and contacted the local Police aid post, but by the time the police came, he managed to escape.
The CCTV visuals of the incident were aired by the local TV channels. Soon another visual surfaced from near the museum, in which a similar looking man was spotted.
On Tuesday, the local Peroorkada police took the man into custody.
The doctor was summoned by police this morning and she immediately identified her attacker.
“I had no difficulty in identifying my attacker, even when his head was shaved. I was able to identify his shoes and the dress he wore that day and I was told that this man had visited a home hours before I was attacked. I thank the media and the police for the support,” she said.
Meanwhile, State Water Resources Minister Roshy Augustine said the driver in custody is not a member of his personal staff.
“The driver is on contract from an agency and has no connection with the government or any of my departments and is not on the payroll also,” said Augustine.
Augustine’s private secretary Gopakumar, who was being driven by Santhosh in the Innova car, said that only after checking the logbook of the vehicle will he be able to say anything.
But senior Congress legislator Ramesh Chennithala said neither the Minister nor the government can wash their hands off this incident stating that the driver was on contract.
“The crime has been committed by a person who is attached to a Minister’s office, so the government is also responsible. This shows that women are no longer safe in the state and the time taken to crack the case is also a cause of concern,” said Chennithala.
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