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‘Broken bones better’ — Gurugram woman says she jumped off moving auto to flee ‘abduction’ bid

In a series of tweets, Nishtha Paliwal says she had to take the step when the auto driver started going in a different direction, ignoring her objections. Police are yet to track him.

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New Delhi: Fearing that she was about to be kidnapped, a woman allegedly jumped off a moving autorickshaw — travelling at a speed of “35-40km/hour” — in Haryana’s Gurugram last Sunday afternoon. She later took to Twitter to narrate her harrowing experience, in a viral post she hopes will serve as a cautionary tale.

Nishtha Paliwal, who identifies herself as a communication specialist on her Twitter account, said she had to take this drastic step when the auto driver, who was supposed to drop her home, started driving in a different direction, ignoring her objections to the same.

Sharing her story on Twitter Monday, she wrote that “broken bones were better than getting lost or kidnapped”.

“Yesterday was one of the scariest days of my life as I think I was almost abducted/kidnapped. I don’t know what it was, it’s still giving me chills,” Paliwal posted.

On Tuesday, she posted an update, saying that she had visited the Palam Vihar police station, and that the station house officer (SHO), Jitendra Yadav, had assured her that he would find the culprit.

Yadav told ThePrint that the driver is yet to be traced.

“Since the woman did not have an auto number, it is taking some time to track the driver. We are continuously working on it and are very close to the target. We will be able to track him by this evening,” he said when asked about the delay.

Also Read: India needs senior female cops for safer cities, 90% women retire as police constables

A harrowing ordeal

According to her tweets, she had hired an autorickshaw from a crowded market in Gurugram’s Sector 22 around 12.30 pm to travel to her house, located just seven minutes away.

She wrote that she told the auto driver she would make an online payment as she didn’t have cash. Looking at his “setup”, she assumed he worked for a ride-sharing app and would be OK with it. “He agreed and I sat in the auto. He was listening to devotional music at a reasonable volume (sic),” she added.

Shortly after that, the auto reached a T-point from where it had to turn right, but the driver took a left turn instead, wrote Paliwal.

“I asked him why you are turning left. But he didn’t respond, instead he started to recite his God’s name,” she said, adding that she didn’t want to elaborate on his religion because “it is not related to any religion”.

Paliwal further wrote that she then screamed at the auto driver: “I screamed that bhaiya my sector was on the right, why are you taking it to the left? But he ignored my pleas and started to recite his God’s name even more loudly. After that I tapped on his shoulder about 8-10 times. The only thing that came to my mind was to jump out of the vehicle.”

She said she jumped out when the speed of the auto was around 35-40 km/hour, adding that “jumping out was the only option. I thought broken bones are better than getting lost… I don’t know how I got that courage”.

Paliwal wrote that she was amazed she didn’t get hurt at all, barring a little bit of pain on her right shin. “By god’s grace, I am fine. I started walking towards my sector, looking back again and again, scared to death that he might come back. I got an e-rickshaw to my home then,” she said.

She wrote that she regretted not having noted down the auto’s registration number, but added that “…frankly, when such an incident happens, I think you are in a different zone altogether (sic)”.

Paliwali posted that she was sharing what she experienced to spread awareness.

“Writing this post for everyone out there. So that we all are aware and cautious, and it doesn’t happen with anyone else. At least we don’t have to jump out of moving vehicles risking our lives. Hoping for a safe future…” she tweeted.

(Edited by Gitanjali Das)

Also Read: Crimes against SC/STs saw rise of over 9% in 2020, but crimes against women decline: NCRB data

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