BANGALORE: Three days after a young woman filed a complaint against an auto driver for physically assaulting and threatening her, the Ashok Nagar police have arrested the auto driver.
The accused Rajendra (35) is a resident of Sunkadakatte on Magadi Road.
The incident occurred late on Tuesday evening when Priya (name changed) and her friend decided to take an autorickshaw to Garuda Mall from Nanjappa Circle in Shanti Nagar.
“It was around 9.30 pm and the auto driver demanded `150 to go to Garuda Mall, which is just 2-3 km away,” narrated Priya in her post on a social networking site. Angry, Priya decided to not keep quiet about the matter and clicked pictures of the auto number plate (KA-02-AD-450) to report it later. “This was when the auto driver started demanding that I delete the pictures,” she explained.
The auto driver allegedly even followed her. “As soon as I turned to walk away, the auto driver started grabbing my shoulder and arms and screaming at me in Kannada demanding that I delete the photo. I tried to get his hands off me and walk faster, but he wouldn’t budge. Then, he started taking photographs of me and threatened me. My friend stood between us trying to protect me from being photographed or grabbed and hit by the driver,” she said.
She was in for more shock. “I tried to quickly hail another auto, but he and 5-10 other auto drivers stood in front of the auto. He got into the front seat with the other auto driver, threatened to hurt him if he drove and started taking photos of me while I was in the back seat. All this happened with around 15 people standing around and watching,” she said.
The next day, Priya went to the police station to lodge a complaint where she was in for another shock. “I visited the Ashok Nagar Police station to file an FIR. At the police station, I was mocked for not knowing Kannada, had to repeat my story to five officers who disregarded the entire story as being the duty of the traffic police department,” she said.
A police officer also advised her to not file an FIR. “When I told one officer that I was harassed and wanted to file an FIR, he said, ‘Don’t file an FIR, otherwise the auto union will pursue you personally’,” she alleged. After much effort, she managed to file an FIR against the auto driver.
When contacted, Additional commissioner of Police (Law and order) Kamal Pant denied that there had been a delay in filing the FIR. “The girl is lying and there was no delay in filing the FIR,” he said.
Ashok Nagar police, who arrested the auto driver on Friday night, said, “During the interrogation, Rajendra said he feared that the police would fine him and hence forced the girl to delete the photo.”
A case has been registered against Rajendra under IPC Sections 354, 509 and 504.