An autorickshaw journey from the international airport turned into a harrowing experience for a 24-year-old employee of an airline, after the driver allegedly took her to Kurla instead of Lokhandwala late on Thursday.
The woman had earlier lambasted the autorickshaw driver for refusing to go to Andheri (West), the police said.
The frantic woman first called the Mumbai police control room, and then her fiancé, who finally found her after nearly 30 minutes. The driver, Ashraf Ibrahim Shaikh, 50, has been arrested and charged with kidnapping.
According to Sahar police, the woman, who works as a team leader at the T2 Mumbai airport lounge since July, finished her shift around 11.30pm. She stopped an autorickshaw, but when Shaikh refused to go to Lokhandwala, she persisted and asked him how he could refuse a passenger.
The driver finally agreed, but he took an internal road f rom Sahar and started to head towards Kurla instead of Andheri (West), the police said.
The woman realised they were heading in the other direction and tried to stop Shaikh, but he allegedly abused her and started to drive rashly.
He threatened her to keep quiet, saying that he was going home as his wife was unwell. “My fiancée called up t he Mumbai police control room and told them about the incident. The police asked her for the rickshaw number, but she could not note it down,” the woman’s fiancé said. “She then called me, and I took my bike and rushed out. I was on the phone with her throughout and could hear the man abuse her,” he said.
Shaikh stopped the vehicle at Shanti Nagar in Kurla (West), and within a few minutes the woman was surrounded by 10 to 15 people, including the driver’s wife, who allegedly started abusing her.
“I reached the place around 12.15am and found my fiancée sitting in the auto, crying. I took her to the Kurla police station, and the driver was arrested. The Kurla police then dropped us to Sahar police station and handed over the case to them,” the fiancé said.
“A case of kidnapping has been registered against Shaikh,” said Prashant Marde, senior inspector, Sahar police station.