New Delhi: In yet another case underlining the diminishing fear of khaki among criminals, a traffic constable was allegedly abducted by suspected sand mafia in a dumper in the heart of the national capital last night when the latter had flagged down the vehicle to check its document.

The policeman could be rescued only after 10 PCR vans gave a chase to the dumper for 10 kms and shots were fired to deflate the vehicle's tyres, police said today.

The truck driver was arrested from the spot and has been identified as Mohd Tareef a resident of Jharoda in Gurgaon district of Haryana. The helper managed to flee toward the nearby Ridge Area.

It all began around 11:15 PM last night when a PCR van was deployed for joint-checking with Traffic Police at Ridge Road-Shankar Road Roundabout. At about 11:17 PM, a truck bearing Haryana registration number which was carrying sand was signalled to stop by the traffic staff for checking.

"As traffic constable Dinesh went near the truck and asked for documents of the vehicle, the helper of the truck pulled him in and it sped off from the checking point even as the constable was hanging out," said Deputy Commissioner of Police (PCR) R K Singh. The PCR van staff flashed the message to the Control Room that the truck driver has forcibly taken away the constable.

On this message, the in-charge of PCR van Head Constable Krishan Kumar spotted the truck on Panchkuiyan Road and signalled it to stop but the truck driver tried to escape without stopping the vehicle, police said. "Finding no other way out, he fired three rounds aimed at the truck's tyre. Finally, he stopped the truck at Link Road Chambery on Panchkuiyan Road and traffic constable was rescued. The entire rescue operation took 15 minutes and there were 10 PCR vans involved in this operation," said Singh.

Soon after the incident senior officers including Additional Commissioner of Police (New Delhi) Jatin Narwal rushed to the spot. A case under sections 186, 353 and 365 of the IPC has been registered at Mandir Marg Police Station in this regard and the dumper has been seized.

"The truck had come from Gurgaon and was heading towards outer Delhi. Role of sand mafia is being suspected in the case but we are ascertaining the facts," he said.

Recently, a group of unidentified men attacked a Delhi police head constable and a home guard in East Delhi's Pandav Nagar. There has been a string of attacks on policemen in the past one year including one on an Assistant Police Commissioner while several others lost ther lives in violent attacks.