In a dramatic 30-minute chase, the city police rescued a young woman who was abducted by three men, all autorickshaw drivers, while she was on her way to Yeshwantpur bus stand with her cousin at around 1.30 a.m. on Friday.
But the police would not have been able to act so swiftly had it not been for another autorickshaw driver, Asghar Pasha, who drove the cousin to the closest police station, identified the attackers based on the latter’s description, and led the police to the godown where the trio had imprisoned the woman.
The 20-year-old woman and her cousin, 30, hail from Chitradurga and had come to Bengaluru on Thursday to visit relatives residing in Parappana Agrahara. The meeting did not take place and they decided to board a train back home from Yeshwantpur railway station. As the train was scheduled to leave hours later, they decided to go to an eatery at the bus stand nearby.
While they were on their way, three men in an autorickshaw drove up to them and began harassing the woman. When her cousin intervened, they beat him up before forcing the woman into the auto and driving away, said Yeshwantpur inspector Mudduraju.
Battered and bruised, the cousin shouted for help and caught the attention of Mr. Pasha, who was passing by in his autorickshaw. When he learned what had happened, Mr. Pasha took the man to the Yeshwantpur police station right away. “I realised what had happened and decided to take the man to the police station. When he described the attackers, I realised I knew who they could be as we all operate in the same area,” he said. “I knew the areas where they usually spend time together.”
At the station, he informed the police of his suspicion and agreed to help them track the abductors. With sub-inspector Rajanna and home guard Srinivas on a motorcycle, and Mr. Pasha leading the way in his autorickshaw, a team went looking for the trio.
“The three men work for a private transport company as auto drivers,” said Mr. Pasha, who took the police to an abandoned vehicle godown where the accused spend most of their time.
Mr. Pasha’s hunch proved right, and the police saw the three men outside the godown and gave a chase. They nabbed one of them, identified as Fayaz. The police also rescued the woman, who had been locked up in the godown.
Another police team — alerted by the control room — tracked the second accused, Zubair Khan, an hour later near his house in Mathikere. Both the arrested have been booked for assault, abduction, molestation, and criminal intimidation.
The woman, who had sustained minor injuries and was in shock, was admitted to a government hospital. She and her cousin returned to their home in Chitradurga later on Friday.
The police have launched a manhunt for the third accused. As a token of appreciation, City Police Commissioner T. Suneel Kumar felicitated Mr. Pasha with a silk shawl and a cash reward of ₹5,000. The police personnel involved in the chase were awarded ₹25,000. “We need members of the general public to be good Samaritans like Asghar Pasha so that these kinds of heinous crimes can be averted,” Mr. Kumar said.