Four persons blocked a car used by a Mangalore City Corporation (MCC) official and assaulted the driver at the busy Ladyhill Circle Saturday morning.

Rohit Kumar (26), the driver, said four members followed his multi-utility vehicle around 7 a.m. when he was going to the house of an MCC Engineer. Mr. Kumar was dragged out of his car and beaten up by the assailants. He managed to run away and take shelter in a house. Mr. Kumar later filed a complaint with Barke police.

Mr. Kumar, who is admitted in a private hospital, said he recognised only one person from the group that attacked him. “They followed me from Urwa Stores where I stay and blocked the way near Ladyhill Circle. They were armed with iron rods and a machete. One of them tried to hit me with the machete. I blocked it with my left hand and got hurt,” he said.

Apart from the deep cut on Mr. Kumar’s left hand, he also sustained injuries on the forehead. His uncle, who did not want to be named, said a few persons had come to Mr. Kumar’s house in the morning asking for money. “I sent them away by telling them they cannot threaten and demand money. An hour later my nephew was attacked,” he said. When asked whether he owed anyone any money, Mr. Kumar refused to give details and said the two incidents were unconnected. “I have given all details to police and also the names of suspects,” he said.

Mr. Kumar, who operates a taxi, said his vehicle had been hired by the MCC for the last one year for official use of the MCC Engineer.

Barke police said they have registered a case of attempt to murder. They seized Mr. Kumar’s vehicle, which was damaged in the attack.

Couple held for smuggling

The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence arrested two passengers at the Mangalore International Airport for allegedly trying to smuggle in gold on Saturday. The DRI officials found two kg of gold worth Rs. 50 lakh concealed by the two passengers. Legally, a person can bring in 1 kg of gold after paying the duty.

The officials said Arshad Ali Mustaq Ahmed (32) and his wife Fatima Nasreen, from Bhatkal, arrived by an Air India Express flight from Dubai around 10 a.m. The officials said they suspected Ms. Nasreen and checked her and found gold ornaments and gold biscuits on her person. The two had gone to Dubai on June 30.

The two passengers were arrested and produced before the jurisdictional session judge, who remanded them to judicial custody.

This is the second time the DRI has detected attempts to bring in gold through the airport.

On July 16, the DRI officials arrested a person from Kasaragod for allegedly smuggling 10 pieces of gold biscuits by concealing it in a television.

The Customs officials arrested another passenger of the same flight, Hyder Ali of Kasaragod, for allegedly possessing gold chains worth Rs. 2 lakh.

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