A 26-year-old nurse from Thane area was allegedly kidnapped by three unidentified persons, including an auto driver, and was later found at an isolated place near Balkum area on Friday night.
The police said they suspected she may have been gang-raped, but said they were waiting for medical reports to confirm this.
No one had been arrested till the time of going to press.
The married woman, who works at a nursing home in Naupada area of Thane, hired an autorickshaw f rom her workplace to home at 8pm on Friday night.
On the pretext of refilling the vehicle with fuel, the driver took a detour to a CNG station, the police said.
“After leaving the station, the auto was flagged off by two ‘passengers’. The driver requested the woman to let the two men share the ride as they were also heading in the same direction. After few metres, one suspect used a chloroform-like chemical to knock her out,” said Gajanan Kabdule, senior police inspector, Naupada police station.
She gained consciousness around 10pm and found herself at a desolate place in Balkum. With the help of a biker, she called up her husband and informed him about the ordeal. Later, she along with her husband went to t he Naupada police station and lodged a complaint.
Investigations also revealed that the survivor was touched inappropriately before she was subdued by the suspects, Kabdule added.
A case under section 363 (punishment for kidnapping) of the IPC was registered against the three suspects.
Meanwhile, the Naupada police approached the traffic department and a meeting was held to nab the accused.
On the basis of CCTV footage obtained from the Harinivas circle in Naupada, the police have prepared a list of drivers who match the profile in the video. A similar case came to light in August 2014 when a 23- year- old professional jumped out a moving auto to escape a kidnap bid.
She suffered grievous injuries and went into a coma.