An auto rickshaw driver who tried blackmailing a woman into paying him more money for dropping her home from the airport late at night was taken to task by a diligent constable attached to the Sahar police station.
Commissioner of Police Rakesh Maria rewarded Chandne with Rs 2,000 cash, and also added a good entry against the constable’s name, which is counted as an act of bravery, after Murli wrote an email to Maria about her experience
The cop followed the vehicle and saw that the driver had stopped it in a dark spot and was abusing the helpless woman, and made sure she reached home safely later on while also warning the driver. The incident occurred at around 11.30 pm on February 3, when Meghna Murli, a Kurla resident, returned to the city from Bengaluru.
Meghna Murli was struggling to get an auto rickshaw from the airport to Kurla, and Shrimant Chandne, a constable attached to the Sahar police station, helped her hail one. Illustrations/Amit Bandre
After she walked out of the arrivals terminal of the airport in Andheri, her attempts to hail an auto were unsuccessful. Shrimant Chandne, a constable with the Sahar police, noticed her and hailed an auto for her. The driver, Shriram Chandran, however, decided to take advantage of the late hours and extract more money from Murli.
However, Chandne sensed something wasn’t right and followed the vehicle. He saw that the auto driver, Shiram Chandran, had stopped at a dark spot on the road and was abusing the woman, threatening to leave her there if she didn’t pay up more money
“The driver stopped in a dark place and asked me for more money to drop me home. He said his meter was not working and he demanded R300 from me, when the usual fare is only R100 including the night charge,” the 32-year-old told mid-day. Chandran allegedly told Murli that he would leave her stranded at the spot if she refused.
Chandne warned the driver and ensured he dropped Murli home. He also took her phone number, and informed the police control room about the auto’s registration number, in case Murli needed help
But the alert constable had already sensed the auto driver’s game and had followed the vehicle. “I doubted his intentions and followed him on my motorcycle.
When I reached the dark spot where he had stopped, I saw that he was abusing the woman and refused to drop her home. I took his licence and told him to take the woman to her destination without any arguments. I also took her mobile number and followed the vehicle all the way to her home,” Chandne said.
The cop also informed the police control room about the auto’s licence number, in case any help is needed. Thereafter, he took the driver into custody and charged him for refusing a passenger, releasing him only when he paid the fine.
Murli reached home and wrote an email to Commissioner of Police Rakesh Maria after taking down his email ID from the Mumbai Police website. In her letter, she detailed how the constable had helped her in time of need. After reading about the incident, Maria rewarded Chandne on Wednesday with Rs 2,000 cash, and also added a good entry against the constable’s name, which is counted as an act of bravery. The Sahar police, meanwhile, are in the process of taking legal action against the driver.