Mumbai

Auto driver held for sexually harassing student in vehicle

The Goregaon police on Monday arrested a 49-year-old autorickshaw driver for allegedly sexually harassing a college student who had boarded his vehicle on Saturday. The police action came after the victim took to social media to narrate her ordeal.

According to an Instagram post by the 18-year old student, she had boarded the auto from Siddharth Nagar in Goregaon (West) around 7.30 a.m. to go to her college.

“As we reached M.G. road [while] taking shortcuts to avoid signals, he started masturbating looking at the rear-view mirror again and again. At first, I did not realise it but within a minute, I knew what he was doing. At one point, I literally had to cover myself with my bag. He went on touching himself until I asked him to stop the auto,” the victim stated in a caption of a video that she recorded from the passenger seat.

She said the driver did not stop immediately even after she insisted and tried to convince her to continue her ride.

“I asked him to stop the auto as we reached the SV road, I thought it would be better if I stop at a crowded place but he said ‘Madam Malad jaana tha na, abhi tak Goregaon mein hi hain’ (Madam, you wanted to go to Malad but we are still in Goregaon). I told him that I wanted to get down there as a friend was coming to pick me up, to which he replied ‘Me chhod deta hu na aagey madam, aap dusra auto karne wale ho kya?’ (I’ll drop you ahead madam, will you be boarding another auto?) I said that if I board another auto or go by walk, how does it concern you? (sic)” she stated in her post, adding that the driver ultimately stopped the auto at the MTNL signal in Goregaon (West).

After the video was uploaded on Instagram by the victim, people shared it on Twitter, tagging the Mumbai Police. The police responded to some of the tweets and inspected the video, after which a case was filed at Goregaon police station.

The accused, identified as Ashok Kharvi (49), was arrested. “The victim had mentioned the licence plate number of the autorickshaw, using which we traced and arrested the accused on Monday. He has been charged with outraging a woman’s modesty under the Indian Penal Code,” Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone XI) Mohan Dahikar said.

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Printable version | Apr 6, 2020 6:24:11 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/auto-driver-held-for-sexually-harassing-student-in-vehicle/article30967404.ece

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