'Flying kiss' lands auto driver behind bars

Not ready to tolerate any harassment, a woman passenger got an auto driver arrested.

The cops nabbed the 45-year-old auto rickshaw driver after the passenger filed a complaint that he had made lewd gestures at her while she was seated in the passenger’s seat.

Lying mirror? The 33-year-old female commuter saw the auto driver in the rear view mirror and thought he was blowing kisses at her, but the driver claimed that he was only puffing away at his beedi. Illustration/Amit Bandre

Police said that the 33-year-old commuter saw the driver’s hand movements in the rear view mirror, and levelled allegations that he was blowing flying kisses at her.


Protesting his innocence, the auto driver insisted that he was only smoking his beedi, and that the passenger failed to notice it in the mirror, and misconstrued it as an offensive gesture.

The incident took place on Monday afternoon in Ghatkopar when the pregnant woman boarded the rickshaw with her mother to make her way to a hospital for a check-up.

“The lady was on her way to Abhishek Hospital since she is pregnant, and according to the rickshaw driver she didn’t notice that he was smoking a beedi while driving and thought otherwise,” said an officer from Ghatkopar police station.

Taking offence at the gesture, the enraged commuter pulled up the driver and the duo got embroiled in a verbal fight, with the passenger dragging the driver to the nearest police station.

“The altercation escalated and the passenger escorted the driver to the police station. We tried to ascertain whether the two had any personal enmity, but it wasn’t the case,” added the police officer.

‘Touched himself’
The lady, in her statement to the cops, stated that the rickshaw driver was continuously touching his private parts while driving the three-wheeler. When the cops asked her how she managed to catch sight of his actions, she told them that since she was sitting at the far end of the passenger’s seat, she managed to catch a glimpse. The accused has been booked under Section 354 (a) (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) of the Indian Penal Code.

Shaikh was initially remanded in police custody, but was released on bail on Wednesday. The auto driver was identified as Mohammad Ali Shabbir Shaikh and is a resident of Parsiwada in Ghatkopar.  

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