HYDERABAD: WHATSAPP helped a woman to save herself from the clutches of a drunk auto-rickshaw driver who tried to rob her, when she boarded the auto to reach IIT-Hyderabad campus at Kandi on Saturday. The police rushed to the scene after receiving WhatsApp location from victim’s friend and held the driver.
The woman identified as Swaroopa of Visakhapatnam in AP, had come to Hyderabad after having completed engineering. She has been living in a private hostel at Kukatpally and was in search of a job.
On Saturday afternoon, Swaroopa went to Kandi to meet her friend, studying at Indian Institute of Technology. On reaching the highway near Kandi, she hired an auto to go to the IITH. The auto-rickshaw driver did not take the route towards the said destination, but diverted the vehicle towards Naguladevunipalli of Hathnoor mandal. Suspecting the driver, when Swaroopa shared GPS location with her friend through WhatsApp and found that the driver was taking another route.
She immediately alerted her other friends who in turn informed the police. On receiving information, Hathnoora SI Rajesh Naik swung into action with his team to rescue the girl. Following the shared location, police found the woman on the highway, but the driver had escaped by then. “The woman shared that the driver threatened her to give the valuables and snatched her bag. As soon as she shared the location with her friend, the driver snatched her mobile phone too. The bag contained Aadhar card, PAN card, debit card, `1,000 cash,” Naik said.
Naik said that she panicked after he snatched the bag and started screaming. The driver also slowed down the auto and the woman jumped out from the auto. “The driver was heavily drunk. He thought he could scare the girl and extort her. He had stopped the auto at a petrol pump near Malkapur to fill fuel. With the help of footage captured in the CCTVs, he was identified and was apprehended late in the night on Saturday. The stolen property is recovered and he will be produced in court for judicial remand on Monday,” the SI said, adding that the driver has been booked on charges of extortion.