Ghaziabad: The Ghaziabad police have launched a drive against illegal auto-rickshaws and seized about 320 vehicles in the last two days. The move comes after a 30-year-old woman was kidnapped in an auto and gang-raped on February 24.

The woman, from Greater Noida, had boarded an auto from Lal Kuan intersection on National Highway-9 in Ghaziabad but was kidnapped in the moving auto and later gang-raped at an isolated spot near Galand in Hapur district.

The three men in the auto had posed as the driver and the passengers. The Hapur police registered an FIR and arrested the three suspects two days later.

The three suspects confessed of the crime during interrogation, said the investigators. They kidnapped and gang-raped another woman 1.5 months ago, but nobody filed a complaint in the matter.

Police said the drive, which started on March 1, will continue till all the autos operating without unique IDs and also those plying illegally from nearby districts are checked up.

“We launched the drive to figure out all illegal autos here. We found over 200 autos operating under the jurisdiction of Masuri, Loni and Loni Border police station areas. We have seized the autos. The registration numbers are of Hapur, Meerut and Delhi. Apart from this, we have issued challans against 400 such autos registered in Ghaziabad,” said superintendent of police (rural) Iraj Raja.

The Ghaziabad police provides a unique four-digit ID to autos operated and registered in Ghaziabad. According to official estimates, the district has around 16,000 autos ferrying passengers, mostly on shared basis. During the incident, the auto travelled on NH-9 from Lal Kuan and passed through the jurisdiction of Masuri police station area to reach Pilkhuwa.

A similar drive was also launched under the jurisdiction of the area, which also includes the Lal Kuan intersection. “In the last two days, we have seized around 120 autos from other districts, and are also cracking down on autos plying without unique IDs. The drive will continue, and our personnel are taking up thorough checks at major points in Vijay Nagar, Lal Kuan and other areas,” said superintendent of police (city 1) Nipun Agarwal.

The office bearers of the Ghaziabad Autorickshaw Chalak Sangh haveraised concerns about the illegally plying autos and said they had complained about the same several times in the past, but no action was taken.

“Most of the autos plying in Ghaziabad are from Hapur. Many more autos, too, ply… The incident was very unfortunate. We demand all autos plying illegally be seized,” said Dilshad Ahmad, president of the association.



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