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CTU bus driver, conductor thwart rape attempt; rescue Dehradun woman

Accused was drunk, was riding auto of an acquaintance when he picked victim near Sec 34/35/43/44 roundabout; CTU bus driver, conductor came forward to help on spotting them near Attawa Chowk

punjab Updated: May 21, 2018 16:28 IST
Shub Karman Dhaliwal
Shub Karman Dhaliwal
Hindustan Times, Mohali
CTU employees prevent auto rape,rescue Dehradun woman,rape attempt
Chandigarh director general of police Tajender Singh Luthra awarding CTU bus driver Mohit Thakur, 31, for his courage. (HT Photo)

In what would have been an unfortunate repeat of the notorious gangrape of a Dehradun girl in a forested area of the city last November was prevented as two Good Samaritans stepped forward to rescue a 29-year-old woman from an auto-rickshaw driver near Attawa Chowk in the wee hours of Sunday.

Police have arrested Mukesh, 26, of Attawa village, Sector 42. Hailing from Uttarakhand and earning his livelihood through catering, Mukesh was in an inebriated condition and had taken someone else’s auto.

The victim in this case too hails from Dehradun and is a fashiondesigning student who was in the city to attend a fashion show at the city hotel along with her friends on Saturday.

How it happened
  • 1:30am: The woman leaves a restaurant at Sector 35. After waiting for her aunt, starts walking towards Hotel South End roundabout. Later boards an auto for Sector 29, but the driver moves towards Attawa Chowk
  • 2:55am: On night duty, CTU employees leave the Sector-43 ISBT on their bus
  • 3am: They see the accused dragging the woman by her hair towards his auto on the slip road near Attawa Chowk. The woman runs towards them, enters the bus and asks for help
  • 3:10am: Bus conductor Ravinder Singh nabs the culprit and calls the PCR
  • 3:15am: Police reach the spot and arrest accused Mukesh

The Good Samaritans — Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU) bus driver Mohit Thakur, 31, and conductor Ravinder Singh, 25 — were on night duty and had just left the bus stand when they saw a man pulling a woman by her hair on the Sector 42/43 road around 3am.

“We saw a man dragging a woman by her hair on the road. He was trying to take her towards his auto-rickshaw that was parked near the slip road adjacent to the chowk,” said Thakur. “The woman was screaming for help. As I stopped the bus, the auto driver left the woman, who came running towards us and said the man is trying to rape her.”

Bus conductor Ravinder Singh quickly got off the bus and nabbed the auto driver. He then called the police control room, following which the patrolling cops reached there within five minutes and arrested the auto driver.

A case under Section 376 (rape) read with 511(punishment for attempting to commit offences punishable with imprisonment to life) besides Section 354 (assault and criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) has been registered at the Sector-36 police station.

Accused has criminal record

An investigating officer, privy to the matter, said: “The victim had left a restaurant at Sector 35 around 1:30am. After waiting for her aunt to pick her up, she started walking towards the Sector 34/35/43/44 roundabout. She boarded Mukesh’s auto, but instead of taking her to her destination in Sector 29, he took a detour and stopped the vehicle near the slip road at a short distance from Attawa Chowk.”

Sector-36 station house officer (SHO) Ranjodh Singh said: “Mukesh was under the influence of alcohol when he attempted to rape the victim.”

Accused Mukesh, 26, in police custody in Sector 36 on Sunday. He was later sent to judicial custody. (HT Photo)

The auto in question is on rent and bears a temporary number. An Attawa man, who has been identified as Lalva, used to ply the auto, but police have not managed to identify the owner yet.

“Lalva had fallen asleep when Mukesh took his auto without informing him,” said the SHO.

Mukesh has had a brush with law earlier too. On verifying his past record, police found that Mukesh was earlier booked for gambling besides obstructing a public way. He was also taken under preventive custody after a fight near Attawa.

Meanwhile, UT director general of police (DGP) Tajender Singh Luthra met the CTU driver and conductor and awarded them ₹5,000 each along with certificates for rescuing the woman.

A grim reminder

A 21-year-old Dehradun woman was raped by an auto-rickshaw driver and two other men in a jungle area in Sector 53 on November 17, 2017. Auto driver Mohammad Irfan, who was arrested later, confessed to having raped another 21-year-old woman, who had boarded his three-wheeler, in a forest area in Sector 29 on December 12, 2016. He is undergoing trial in both cases.

First Published: May 21, 2018 09:54 IST