Within 24 hours of a foiled attempt by an auto driver and his accomplice to abduct a young woman in the city, police arrested the duo Wednesday, while the woman was recovering from injuries she sustained when she jumped out of the vehicle.
Lessons learnt from the Delhi gang-rape came in handy for Nikhila More when she did four things right: she used her pepper spray, called a friend on her mobile when she sensed she was in trouble, kicked and screamed and jumped out.
Police went through images captured by surveillance cameras and scoured their database of auto drivers and pounced on the two accused.
At a press conference Wednesday night, Cyberabad police commissioner Ch Dwaraka Tirumala Rao announced the arrest of Bitin Kumar alias Raja Reddy, native of Orissa and resident of Venkatagiri, and auto driver A Jangaiah, native of Nalgonda district and resident of SR Nagar.
The victim, BITS Pilani grad Nikhila More, didn’t know her way about the city, having taken up a job at Thomas and Betts in Ameerpet only recently. She lives with a friend at Narayanguda.
On Tuesday, she went to a beauty parlour near Ayyappa Society at Madhapur. It was past 7.45 pm by the time she finished and took a sharing auto to go home. Before getting into the auto she called up her roommate, C Leena, and told her she would be home in an hour.
There was another woman and two male passengers in the auto when she boarded.
It was 9 pm when the auto reached Maitrivanam. By then, the other passengers had got down at their respective destinations and Nikhila was alone in the auto bar the driver and his accomplice, sharing the seat up front.
“The auto driver told Nikhila he would take a different route to Narayanguda as he wanted to avoid the regular route because he had a fight with someone on that road. Instead, he drove to Ameerpet and turned back towards Jubilee Hills, Madhapur and Gacchibowli,’’ Tirumala Rao said.
The woman didn’t sense anything wrong until she realised the auto had brought her back to Madhapur. She questioned the driver but got a vague response.
At exactly 9.19 pm, Nikhila called up a friend, Kiran, and told her she feared she was being kidnapped. She informed her friend that she was somewhere near Madhapur.
As Nikhila was speaking to her friend, the driver stopped the vehicle. His accomplice got down and took the rear seat next to Nikhila and grabbed her.
Meanwhile, Kiran tried to call back Nikhila but there was no response from her phone. Kiran called up DCP (North Zone) Ch Srikanth who alerted his West Zone counterpart and the Cyberabad police.
Acting immediately, the Cyberabad cops tracked Nikhila’s mobile phone signal and despatched special teams to find her. Quick Response Teams were activated and police checkposts began frisking routines.
Struggling in the clutches of her abductor, Nikhila had the presence of mind to take out her pepper spray from her hand bag and sprayed it in the face of the driver and his accomplice. As the abductor loosened his grip, Nikhila jumped out of the running auto near the IIIT junction.
Passing by, Naveen, a Wipro techie, saw the injured girl and shifted her to a hospital and within minutes, police too reached the place. Tirumala Rao said they got vital information from CCTV footage, and their database of auto drivers helped. The accused men were drunk, he said. Cases under sections 342 (confinement) and 365 (kidnap) have been registered and an investigation is on.
Nikhila’s parents, who live in Pune, have rushed to the city upon coming to know of the incident.