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Auto driver held for assault

An autorickshaw driver allegedly punched a passenger who protested when he did not stop at the designated auto stand on a crowded road in Garia on Friday.

Ashok Roy Chowdhury, 39, a resident of Atabagan in Boral, a few kilometres from Garia, had boarded the auto near his house and was headed to his workplace in Garia.

Roy Chowdhury alleged the driver refused to stop the vehicle at the auto stand and was taking him some metres ahead.

“I thought he would stop the auto at the auto stand in front of the Mahua cinema. Instead, he kept on driving and stopped only after crossing the traffic lights, a few metres from the official auto stand. He didn’t listen even when I protested,” said Roy Chowdhury, who works in a garments shop.

“Once he stopped the auto, I said he shouldn’t have done that and I had the right to refuse him the fare.... At this, he held me by the collar and started to abuse me,” he added.

When Roy Chowdhury, who was the only passenger, tried to leave, the driver allegedly punched him in the face. “I could not resist because both my hands were engaged. He hit me very hard on my face. I could feel blood oozing out of my mouth immediately,” said Roy Chowdhury.

As passers-by started gathering, the driver — later identified as Shiv Shankar Roy, 22 — tried to flee but was caught. He was handed over to traffic cops and then taken to Patuli police station, where he was arrested after Roy Chowdhury lodged a complaint against him.