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One detained in auto molest case

Bhubaneswar, Dec. 24: Khandagiri police have detained an autorickshaw driver from the city this evening and seized a three-wheeler in a molestation case.

Deputy commissioner of police (DCP) Nitinjeet Singh said though the victim had not brought any direct complaint against the driver, his arrest could lead to the arrest of the two passengers who had molested the girl.

The 19-year-old victim was molested inside a moving autorickshaw late last night. The accused pushed the victim off the autorickshaw at Delta Square when she refused to accompany them.

A police patrol van rescued her from the spot after some local residents informed the cops. She was rushed to Capital hospital immediately. The girl, who suffered injuries on her left leg, hands and back, has been kept at a short-stay home in the Janla area after preliminary treatment.

The girl, who hails from Patakura area in Kendrapara district, stays in the Master Canteen area of the city with her sister. Yesterday, she was returning from her native place to Bhubaneswar.

Inspector in charge of Khandagiri police station Sanjeev Satpathy said the girl had taken a bus to the capital last night.

The girl said she reached Baramunda bus stand around 10.30pm. When she walked to the autorickshaw stand, a driver approached her and asked where she wanted to go. Since the autorickshaw was heading towards Master Canteen, she got on it.

“But there were already two other people in the vehicle. They were drunk. On the way they tried to outrage my modesty. When I opposed them, they offered me Rs 500. I did not take the money, but they kept on molesting me. When I raised my voice, they threw me off the vehicle,” said the girl.

Some people, who noticed the girl lying on the road, called the emergency police number and the PCR vehicle rushed her to the hospital.

Earlier in the day, DCP Nitinjeet Singh had said that the accused had been identified and would be arrested soon.

President of the autorickshaw association Naba Kishore Mohanty had also assured the police of all help to identifying the accused driver.

A number of women’s organisations criticised the incident which was the second of its kind in the city over the past one week. On Wednesday, a dancer had been gang raped by five persons at Saheed Nagar after being called by one of the accused on the pretext of discussing a dance programme.