An auto driver assaulted a 30-year-old Home Guard deputed as a traffic con stable around noon on Sunday after she stopped him from parking in the middle of the road near Dombivali railway station.
The driver, Ravi Gupta, 29, first ignored constable Sunita Nandmaher's warning whistles against parking arbitrarily on the road. When she approached him to get his attention, he started raining curses on her, then forcibly drove her to a deserted spot to thrash her before tossing her into a drain. A first information was registered against Gupta at Ram Nagar police station after Nandmaher's lodged a complaint.
The complaint states that around 11:30 am, she stopped the auto bearing registration number MH 05 CG 2138 from parking on the road. “I alerted him with my whistle. When he didn't listen, I walked up to where he was standing and asked him to move to the stand. But he started abusing me and refused to budge or show his licence,“ she said in her statement to the police.
She asked him to accompany her to the police station, and sat in the auto to direct him. But he took off in the opposite direction at top speed, on a stretch of road to Thakurli that was largely empty, she said. When she shouted for help, he hit her.
“He stopped the auto after crossing Thakurli and began hitting me in the face,“ said Nandmaher, who fractured her finger and injured her arm and wrists when she raised them to cover her face in defence. Gupta then pushed her into a nearby drain and fled the spot, she said.
The bruised constable made her way to Ram Nagar police, and the officials hunted down Gupta, who was hiding in a village, and booked him.
A resident of Datta Nagar in Dombivli, Gupta has been driving an auto for six years. He said that he hit the cop because “she spoke rudely“ to him.
Nandmaher told Mirror that auto drivers tend to lay into traffic constables routinely and urged her superiors to slap heavy penalties on such offenders. She said she was “strict“ with the auto driver as the traffic constabulary is censured by police bosses and civilians over autos parked randomly on the road that cause jams.
A senior officer from Ram Nagar police station said they will ensure Gupta gets a strict punishment for assaulting a policewoman.
In August last year, head constable Vilas Shinde died after being assaulted by two helmetless bikers at a petrol pump in Khar. His brutal murder brought to light a spate of assaults on the law keepers by traffic offenders, who do not think much of their transgressions.
Between 2011and 2016, as many as 208 traffic cops were assaulted, according to a report by the Times of India. The figure does not include the year 2013, the data for which was reportedly not available.
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