Cabbie abducted, robbed in 10-hr ordeal

A taxi driver was allegedly abducted and robbed in a 10-hour ordeal by four men who also forced him to video call his wife and then took screen-shots of her. The alleged incident took place on Friday night.

The men booked the cab driven by Somashekhar on an aggregator platform. The pickup was at Adugodi and the drop at Bommasandra. However, instead of getting down at Bommasandra, the passengers allegedly assaulted Somashekhar, took control of the wheel, took him hostage and drove to Channapatna. In Channapatna, they checked into a hotel and allegedly locked him in the washroom.

Somashekhar, 38, managed to escape through the window. With the help of passers-by, he approached the Channapatna police for help. He returned to Adugodi on Saturday and filed a complaint with the police.

“After driving 22 km to Bommasandra, the passengers asked me to drive further. My ordeal started when I asked the exact location. One of the men assaulted me while the others snatched the car key and forced me to sit in the back,” he told the police in his complaint.

The men allegedly took his mobile money and the cash he had on hand. En route, they forced him to go to an ATM to withdraw all his savings. “When they saw that I had only Rs 9,000 in my account, they forced me to call a friend and got him to transfer another Rs 22,000 from an e-wallet account to me,” he said. Once the transfer was completed, they used Somashekhar’s debit card to withdraw the cash from an ATM.

Somashekhar thought that would be the end of his ordeal, but the men then allegedly forced him to make a video call to his wife and allegedly took screen-shots while they made her remove her clothes.

They allegedly drove for around 100 km until they reached a lodge in Channapatna. There, they allegedly took Somashekhar to a room and locked him up. He requested to use the washroom, and was able to escape through the window.

He told the police that he ran as fast as he could to the road and sought help from some passers-by. The local police arrived at the spot, but found the room in the lodge deserted.

The Adugodi police have registered a case of kidnap, robbery, blackmail, outraging the modesty of a woman and assault.

As he was on an aggregator platform, the police are trying to track down the owner of the mobile phone from which the cab was booked.

“We are checking CCTV footage and call record details to identify the culprits,” said the police.

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