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Rogue cabbie gets bail

Raj Kumar Prasad, the taxi driver who had threatened a homemaker that her son would be kidnapped if she did not pay Rs 2,000 or clean up the vehicle after her four-year-old daughter had thrown up, was released on bail from Hare Street police station hours after his arrest on Wednesday evening.

Prasad was entitled to bail at the police station as the charges against him — wrongful restraint and threats — were bailable.

The driver was picked up from his Harish Mukherjee Road house following a complaint by Howrah resident Pinki Saha, stating that he had asked her to cough up Rs 2,000 or clean the floor mat of the taxi after her four-year-old daughter had puked near Rani Rashmoni Avenue at Esplanade. He even threatened to abduct her six-year-old son if his demands were not met, Saha has mentioned in her complaint.

Pinky also alleged that a traffic sergeant standing nearby did not come to her help. “I narrated my ordeal to the policeman but he said he had no authority to stop the taxi. My sister, who was accompanying me and my two children, fetched a piece of cloth from a jhalmuri-seller and cleaned the floor mat while the sergeant stood and watched,” Pinki said.

“Prasad will be produced before the deputy commissioner, traffic, for a hearing. If he is found guilty, his driving licence may be suspended for up to six months,” said an officer of the traffic department.