Staff Reporter

Not related to arson in Ashok Nagar, Vadapalani: Commissioner

CHENNAI: A passenger assaulted an autorickshaw driver, forcibly took the vehicle away and set it on fire before fleeing on Thursday night.

Police said Shanmugavel of Choolaipallam MGR Nagar near Ashok Nagar, an auto driver, picked up a passenger to Kasi Theatre. After reaching the destination, when he asked for his fare, the passenger refused and threatened him with a knife.

Fearing for his life, he tried to get away but the passenger overpowered him and left in the autorickshaw.

Shanmugavel, who went in search of the vehicle, found it burnt near Valasaravakkam. A case has been registered and police are looking for the assailant.

The incident comes close on the heels of the torching of 10 two-wheelers, three cars and two lorries in Ashok Nagar and Vadapalani in the last three days. Police said vigil had been stepped up in the areas and no incident was reported on Thursday.

Night patrolling had been intensified and anyone found moving suspiciously was being questioned, Deputy Commissioner of Police (T.Nagar) S Baskaran said.

Commissioner of Police Letika Saran said the police had some good leads in the case. "We hope to resolve the case within a week."

Asked whether the incident in Valasaravakkam was related to the torching cases in Ashok Nagar and Vadapalani, she ruled it out.