A 21-year-old college student was allegedly molested in a moving autorickshaw by the driver and his friend at Bansdroni on Monday night.
The history honours student, who had boarded the auto outside Bansdroni Metro station around 9.10pm, was to the right of the driver, identified as Debraj Bhattacharya. His friend, Robin Das, was to the left.
An elderly woman and a couple with a child were on the back seat of the auto, which was plying on the Bansdroni-Vivekananda Park route.
“The driver’s friend was drunk. He was reaching across the back of the front seat and touching me while calling me names. The driver asked him to remove his hand and requested me to ignore him as he was not in his senses,” the student told Metro.
Robin’s behaviour prompted the elderly woman to ask him to “behave himself”.
Minutes later, Debraj allegedly started making indecent proposals to the victim. “He started asking my address and other personal questions. I realised I was in danger and got off the auto near Sonali Park, which is before my destination, because my co-passengers were getting off. When I gave the driver a Rs 20 note, he offered me Rs 1,000 and said he needed ‘some entertainment’,” the student said.
When she protested, Debraj allegedly told her that he would catch her if she tried to escape. “I was shocked. I ran to a nearby stationery shop where some people were standing. They came to my rescue and caught hold of the driver’s friend. Then I dragged the driver out of the auto by his collar,” she said.
The girl dialled 100 and police reached the spot in 15 minutes and took Robin in custody. Debraj, a resident of the area, had fled by then. He was arrested from his home later.
“A case of outrage of modesty and outrage through indecent gestures has been started at Regent Park police station. The driver’s friend has been hospitalised,” said a police officer.
Auto drivers have been accused of rash driving and assaulting passengers several times in the recent past.
A 23-year-old man was arrested for allegedly stalking and molesting a 21-year-old girl near GS Bose Road in Kasba on Monday evening. Police said the accused, Bablu Gupta, was known to the victim and had been allegedly following her after she broke up with him.
Susanta Singh, a 28-year-old resident of Gosain Lane in Shyampukur, was arrested for allegedly molesting a woman at Bagbazar Ghat around 8pm on Monday.