A television actress, who was taken for a ride by an autorickshaw driver and his associate early on Saturday, tried to get assistance on the police emergency helpline, but was advised to approach the nearest police station instead.
Neelam Singh had hired the auto at Lokmanya Tilak Terminus at about 4am, to travel to her residence in Lokhandwala, Andheri (West), after returning from Jhansi. The driver requested her to allow his friend to travel with them, saying he would drop him along the way.
Within a short time she realised that the driver was taking her in a different direction and she tried to call a friend. Then the auto driver’s associate assaulted her. “I screamed for help as we drove along a dark and deserted road. As some fisher folk drove by in a vehicle, I managed to jump out of the auto, but the two raced away,” Singh said.
Singh has been in Mumbai for about two and a half years, during which time she has acted in serials like Jhansi Ki Rani, some ad films and even a couple of Hindi movies, but she probably never dreamed she would have to fight a real-life battle.
She dialled 100, the police emergency helpline, to explain her plight. To her surprise, the policeman who took her call suggested that she approach the nearest police station. “I was traumatised and shocked. I just had no idea what to do,” Singh recollected. “I did not know where I was and they expected me to go find a police station.” The generous fisher folk helped her to get to Bhayandar railway station.
When she got back home, Singh approached the DN Nagar police station, who directed her back to the Tilak Nagar police. Police traced the auto driver Satish Singh, 27, and his associate Anil Sharma, 30, and they have been booked under various sections of the IPC. They have been remanded to police custody till Tuesday.