Mumbai crime: Auto driver who allegedly robbed girl; turns to be cousin

The 20-year-old girl claimed he snatched her phone, pushed her into a gutter and fled; when the man was arrested, he said he was her cousin and had taken her phone as she had been on it for a long time and her family did not like her talking to strangers

The Malad police have been handed a rather peculiar case. A 20-year-old girl approached them about 10 days ago and filed a complaint against an ‘unknown’ rickshaw driver who had allegedly misbehaved with her, snatched her phone and pushed her into a gutter before fleeing.

Dubey, the girl’s cousin,  has been handed over to the Malad police
Dubey, the girl’s cousin,  has been handed over to the Malad police

Police investigations have now revealed that the rickshaw driver is, in fact, the girl’s cousin. The cousin, who is 27 years old and was arrested yesterday, has claimed that he had snatched the phone and thrown it on the road as her family does not like her talking to strangers. He claimed he left the spot after that and the girl must have slipped and fallen into the gutter while trying to retrieve the phone.

The complainant, a third-year B.Com student, had approached the Malad police on August 26 and registered an FIR. According to the police, she said in her complaint that she was waiting at a bus stop to take a bus home to Poisar. Since no bus was available, she got into a rickshaw that approached her.

Suddenly, the driver changed direction and began driving rashly. When she protested, an argument ensued and the driver stopped the rickshaw behind Inorbit Mall, snatched the girl’s phone and pushed her into a gutter before fleeing. The girl cried for help and sweepers in the area came to her rescue.

The Malad police registered an FIR under Sections 392 (robbery) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code against an unknown rickshaw driver. Unit XI of the Crime Branch also got involved and the accused was arrested from Kandivli East yesterday.

Keeping an eye
The accused has been identified as Sandeep Dubey (27), a resident of Poisar. During the interrogation, Dubey revealed that he was the girl’s cousin. He said he was going back home in his rickshaw on August 26, when he saw the girl outside her college. She had been speaking to someone on the phone for a long time.

After observing her for a while, he drove towards her, asked her to get into the vehicle and started driving her home. He said her family did not like her talking on the phone to strangers and when he pointed this out to her, she began arguing with him.

This is when Sandeep took the mobile from her, threw it on the road near Inorbit Mall and drove away. He claimed she must have fallen into the gutter while trying to retrieve the phone from it.

Facts hidden
Senior Inspector Chimaji Adhav of Crime Branch Unit XI confirmed that the accused and victim are cousins. He said, “The girl had not told us the actual version of events while filing the FIR. During the interrogation, it came to light that the victim was speaking to someone and that the accused had thrown away her cellphone for that reason.”

The police also traced the location of the girl and the accused on the night of the incident, and found out that they were at the same place at the same time. Dubey has been handed over to the Malad police.

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