Two girls jumped out of a running auto rickshaw in Thane on Sunday after the driver allegedly refused to stop staring at them and paid no heed to their requests to halt the vehicle. The girls received only minor bruises, and the driver was arrested after police made his sketch and showed it to other auto drivers in Thane.
The driver, Phulchand Gupta, was identified by a fellow auto driver with the help of this sketch
Both the girls hail from Ratnagiri one of them is a 17-year-old and studies in Std XI, while the other is a 22-year-old MSc student. Both had come to Thane for a workshop on Sunday, and after completing the same, they went to the house of the professor who delivered the workshop. At around 8.30 pm, they decided to go to an uncle’s house in Bhiwandi.
“The girls caught a rickshaw from Naupada area in Thane to go towards Bhiwandi. When they were passing by Nitin company while on the Cadbury flyover, the girls saw that the auto driver was continuously looking at them in the mirror and making vulgar statements,” said Vasant Pagare, police sub-inspector, Vartak Nagar police station.
The girls asked the driver to halt the vehicle, but he did not pay attention to them. Finally, they jumped from the moving vehicle, onto the bridge. “A woman coming from behind in her car saw them jump and rushed the girls immediately to the nearby Jupiter Hospital, where the girls were discharged after preliminary treatment,” said a police officer from Vartak Nagar police station. They received minor bruises and scratches.
Police said the girls did not note the auto driver’s number or the smart card number of the vehicle, which the Thane police have affixed behind every auto rickshaw in the city. Vartak Nagar police made a sketch of the accused and transferred the case to Naupada police station, since the incident occurred in their jurisdiction.
The Naupada police arrested the driver yesterday from Naupada after showing the sketch to other auto drivers. He was identified as Phulchand Gupta. Gupta has been booked under the Sections 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 366 (kidnapping, abducting or inducing woman to compel her marriage), 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) and Protection Of Children From Sexual Offences Act, 2012.