Pune: In an incident which may make travellers think twice before hitting the Expressway, a family from Pune’s Kharadi area had a horrific experience while returning from Mumbai around 2am on Monday.
Highway robbers dragged the mother and daughter out of the car, beat them up with metal rods and looted them while the husband went to fetch at bottle of water.
Amit Mali, 41, Resha, 34 and daughter Vedika, 12 were looted of cash, jewellery and international currency worth Rs1.25lakh. While Resha was injured in the forehead, Vedika recieved stitches to her finger and palm.
Malis were coming back from a week-long vacation from Thailand. After reaching Mumbai International airport at 11:15pm on Sunday, they collected their car from Resha’s brother’s house and left for Pune. When they reached the spot opposite the petrol pump, Amit stopped the car and asked his wife and daughter to wait inside till he fetched water and coffee for them. He then went across to the other side of the E-way.
Amit said, “I locked the car and left the engine on for air-conditioning. Within minutes, a group of four men approached the car and asked my wife to open the window and hand over our bag to them. When she refused, they started hitting the window glass with a metal rod. They even used a stone to break it open. My wife and daughter were terrified and started screaming for help and honking desperately.”
The robbers broke the glass of the car and pulled his wife’s hair and started hitting her with the metal rod. “Vedika, who was sitting behind, tried to stop the robbers from hitting my wife. In the process, she also got hurt,” Amit added.
By that time, Amit heard the continuous honking and ran towards the car and saw that the robbers were running towards the direction of the railway tracks. He said that some employees of the petrol pump rushed towards the car and alerted the police.
“I started my vehicle so that I can reach a nearby police station, but there was a small accident where I had to stop. The highway patrolling squad was present and I asked for an ambulance. We were rushed to a government hospital in Kamshet. After the first aid, I lodged an First Investigation Report (FIR) with the Kamshet police,” he said.
The ordeal lasted till 2.30pm till Monday afternoon. Pune rural superitendent of police, Manoj Kumar Lohiya, said that in the past too, there have been minor robberies but this is the first brazen attack on a family. “I am personally going to visit the spot tomorrow,” said Lohiya.
“This is very horrible incident that has happened to my family. We want the media to highlight this issue as safety of families is at stake. This incident has put the safety of Expressway and police patrolling in question,” said Amit.