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Sprayed and robbed by auto driver

Jan. 30: An auto-rickshaw driver in South 24-Parganas allegedly robbed a passenger of her jewellery after making her unconscious by spraying chemical on her face.

The 26-year-old private tutor was left on the roadside in Diamond Harbour’s Parulia with her hands tied and mouth stuffed with cloth. She was taken home in Usthi, 15km away, on a van rickshaw by passers-by.

Police said the lady, who is still in a semi-conscious state, had told her father that she was the only passenger in the auto.

“The driver was chatting with a friend who was in the front seat. When the auto reached a deserted stretch, the driver sprayed some chemical on the face of the woman. As she was slipping into unconsciousness, she realised that someone was snatching her gold chain,” an officer said.

The farmer father of the woman had lodged a missing person’s diary after she did not return home late in the evening. The woman, who was returning after giving tuition to a student in Mograhat, has bruises on her hands and face and severe pain all over her body.

The woman has been admitted to Diamond Harbour subdivisional hospital.

The alleged harassment and heist comes at a time auto drivers have been breaking laws at will in Calcutta.

On Tuesday, some auto drivers had attacked policemen in Tangra when a sergeant was prosecuting some of them for ferrying more than four passengers at a time.

An unlicensed auto driver in a hurry to speed past a green signal in south Calcutta knocked down and killed an elderly pedestrian on January 21 evening.