|Pramod Kumar at Didarganj police station. Picture by Sachin
An autorickshaw driver’s timely intervention saved a 12-year-old girl from getting abducted in Patna on Thursday.
Not only this, the driver’s endeavour helped police nab a historysheeter, who has been allegedly supplying girls for flesh trade.
Thursday’s victim Rani Kumari (name changed) started for school from her Raibagh residence in Patna City around 8.30am, when one middle-aged Pramod Kumar stopped her at a bridge near her school.
On the pretext that he owed money to Rani’s father, Pramod coaxed the girl to board his motorbike before taking her to Mohammadpur, around 1km from the school.
Once there, the girl was beaten up and was warned to stay silent. They started their journey back to the school with the intention to take Rani away from her residence, the police said.
“The girl was at a distance of around 500m from her school when Pramod stopped her. He told the girl that he owed Rs 4,000 to her father and had made futile attempts to contact him. He insisted that she take the money on his behalf by signing a paper stating that the money was received,” a police officer with Didarganj police station said.
He added that the girl agreed and Pramod drove her to Mohammadpur.
“Once there, she was asked to wait as Pramod entered a house and came back saying that the papers were not ready yet. When the girl got scared and asked him to drop her back to school, Pramod slapped her and allegedly took away her earrings. She was warned of dire consequences if she shouted,” the officer said.
According to the police, Pramod drove on the same route but his intention was to take the girl to Hajipur.
On their way back, an autorickshaw driver, Ranjit Rai, saw Pramod and the weeping girl. Rai, who knew Pramod well, got a whiff of what he was up to.
Rai owed Rs 10,000 from Pramod and has been delaying its repayment for long.
“Seeing Pramod and the girl, Rai followed him on his autorickshaw and hit the bike with his vehicle. Pramod lost balance and fell down. The girl ran and took shelter in a nearby food stall. A few residents, after hearing the girl’s ordeal, beat up Pramod and called us,” the officer said.
Pramod was taken into custody and the police have come to know that he is a historysheeter with at least six cases of theft, loot and molestation lodged against him in Jakkanpur, Malsalami, Fatuha, Rupaspur and Bypass police stations.
“Even the bike he was riding was a stolen one. He admitted during interrogation that he was going to sell the girl to someone in Hajipur. Investigations are going on and many more cases against Pramod will come to the fore very soon. It could be possible that he was into flesh trade, who sold girls to bigger fish. The girl is lucky to have escaped his clutches,” the officer said.