The police said Swapnali Nitin Laud, 24, a software engineer who works in an IT firm at Wagle Estate, Thane, was on her way home around 9:30pm on Tuesday when the incident took place.
“Swapnali usually goes home with her colleagues, but that day they dropped her till Kapurbawadi junction, from where she boarded an autorickshaw. She called her mother and said she was on her way,” said Saurav, Swapnali’s cousin.
Usha Bhoir, the wife of a l ocal NCP corporator, who took Swapnali to hospital said, “I was heading back from my office when I saw a group of people. I saw Swapnali lying unconscious on the ground and bleeding from her head. We admitted her to a private hospital first and then to Jupiter Hospital.
“A local, one Gadkari, who was standing on road, claims he heard her cry out for help from the rickshaw and then she jumped out of the rickshaw from the right side. Gadkari tried to follow the rickshaw unsuccessfully,” Bhoir added.
A police officer from the Kapurbawdi police station said the rickshaw driver was not from the area.
“We are looking at drivers who come from Bhiwandi to Thane to fill CNG. We have prepared two teams and the Thane crime branch is conducting a parallel investigation,” the officer said.