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Old 24th April 2012, 16:12   #1
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Default Lone Women Drivers in Delhi. Be Alert. I am still too shocked.

Was trying to locate a thread on the matter, and came across many. But I also wanted to warn lone women drivers to not only avoid lonely stretches, but also to remain alert in the middle of traffic jams.

I am narrating my personal experience. Something that happened with me last evening, at approx. 7.15 pm, on the way home from work.

My daily drive from Mathura Road to Rajouri Garden remains largely uneventful, except for the daily dose of traffic snarls, as I commute during prime working hours.

Last evening, I left half an hour early from office as I had to attend a late night conference call. However, fate had something else in store for me.

At the New Friends Colony Traffic Light, as usual, there was a 15 minute stoppage. I called up my son via the integrated bluetooth connectivity with my car on hands free mode to check if he had completed his homework. The traffic signal changed and traffic started to move, though there were at least 15 vehicles between me and the NFC crossing, including a bus right ahead. As I was ending my call, a man (approx. 20-25 years) started beating the bonnet at the passenger side of my car with the wooden handle of a metallic bar. As I turned to look, he was limping and yelling that I had driven over his foot. For a second I was zapped as I had just engaged the gear and had hardly moved 2-3 feet (traffic was so slow that it was impossible to slot the 2nd gear). I would have surely felt a bump if I had driven over his foot.

This man started yanking at my door, which he could not open as the moment I sit in my car, I engage the central locking. He started screaming for me to open the window. I rolled down the window about 2 inches so that I could hear what he was saying. He continued his yelling, while I shouted back that I had not driven over his foot. In the meantime, I heard some more noise and looking at my side of the rear view mirror, I could see 2 more guys beating at the boot of the car with their fists. There was another guy at my window side who wanted me release the central locking so that they could take the guy to the hospital.

With so much happening, I was confused and panicked big time. To add to it, the bus right behind me started honking badly with only a few centimeters gap between the bus and my car.

I could also see a gentleman in a blue Wagon-R to my right waving his hands and pointing to my car. To my horror, when I looked at the vacant seat, I could see that the guy who was limping had put in his hand into the car and was trying to open it from inside, while clutching at my handbag and Samsung Galaxy Note. I nearly fainted.

Hurriedly, I raised the window and he was forced to release my handbag, but ran off with my mobile, straight into the bus behind me. But this was not the end of the story. The bus grazed my car from the rear, and then shot off.

Too dazed to react, I was literally staring at the bus in the dark. This happened in the middle of traffic with at least 50 vehicles and 10 buses in the immediate vicinity. No one came forward to help, except the gentleman in the blue Wagon-R. But wait, many people were recording the incident on their phones.

It may be impossible to recover the phone, but I want the thugs to be taken to task and punished. In the past, I have actually stopped my car and helped many people in problem on the roads. But not anymore.

It is easy to see one should show presence of mind. However, when 5 guys have surrounded your car, there is not very much you can do. The mobile had details which were important, both personal and official, and was a gift from my husband. Yesterday my car had completed 10000 Kms. on road and I had the precious odo reading clicked for uploading on my Fiesta thread, which is gone for good.

Any suggestions what to do next? I was too shocked to react, but would like to take up the incident with the cops, sans the harassment.

I take full responsibility for having panicked, but if I am a lone commuter, it does not mean that I am a sitting target for being robbed.
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Old 24th April 2012, 16:21   #2
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Default Re: Lone Women Drivers in Delhi. Be Alert. I am still too shocked.

Sorry to listen to such events and what happened with you. In future it would be far better off to move and report the incident at police station nearest to your residence. Never bother to stop and look around.

Delhi is not a place to look around and ask for help. Just bunch of wolves trying to tear off each other. Sorry if it may sound rude.
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Old 24th April 2012, 16:26   #3
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Default Re: Lone Women Drivers in Delhi. Be Alert. I am still too shocked.

Sugeeta, Very unfortunate incident there. Good that you didn't unlock or get down from the vehicle. This happens everywhere and it is really unfortunate.

Take Care, Drive Safe.
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Old 24th April 2012, 16:27   #4
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Default Re: Lone Women Drivers in Delhi. Be Alert. I am still too shocked.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sugeeta View Post
I am narrating my personal experience. Something that happened with me last evening, at approx. 7.15 pm, on the way home from work.
Hi Sugeeta,

This is seriously scary and show how gangs in Delhi/ Gurgaon are now operating to harass and target people. And it is not just women who are their targets, but also men. It is all the more scary for a lone woman driver to be in such a situation and I am also appalled that none of the other drivers / bystanders came forward for your help. Had this happened in some other city like Mumbai, bystanders would have dealt their own version of street justice. But in Delhi/ Gurgaon people are just not considerate and are too scared to help others in need.
In such a situation it really needs extreme courage and quick thinking to get out of a sticky situation.

Thanks for bringing this to everyone's attention and I hope that people in Delhi NCR change their attitude and don't ever let women be harassed like this.

Note from Support - Please avoid quoting an entire large post as it inconveniences our mobile and small screen users.

Last edited by GTO : 26th April 2012 at 13:58. Reason: PM sent
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Old 24th April 2012, 16:31   #5
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Default Re: Lone Women Drivers in Delhi. Be Alert. I am still too shocked.

Sorry to hear your plight. But lucky that you could escape without any harm, though you lost the phone.

Don't hesitate to take the issue up with the Police. If you remember the Wagon R number or even if no try and locate the guy. The bus driver is also indirectly responsible in adding to your confusion. Had he not honked and scared you, you would have been more alert and could have saved the phone. This is similar to incidences of mugging in the Bangalore streets. Kindly take it up in right earnest with the police.

Hereafter please do not keep your bag, phone, purse etc on the left seat while traveling alone. Keep the bag in the co-driver's foot-well and the phone in the centre console.

Last edited by rajeev k : 24th April 2012 at 16:43.
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Old 24th April 2012, 16:36   #6
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Default Re: Lone Women Drivers in Delhi. Be Alert. I am still too shocked.

Sad incident. Sorry to hear of it.
Lone drivers are easy prey, as they don't anybody to stand for them nor they can offer much resistance to group of five men. Now youe being lonely and women made it even easy for them.
Though you panicked, it was really your promptness that saved those thugs entering into your car and your alertness saved your handbag.
Probably those thugs saw your handbag and phone on the front seat, and thus targeted you.
Don't think you'll have any evidence with you to identify the thug.
You may file a police complaint and follow it up, but be alert here on and whatever happens don't stop the car, keep moving until you are safe.
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Old 24th April 2012, 16:36   #7
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Default Re: Lone Women Drivers in Delhi. Be Alert. I am still too shocked.

Hmm, does'nt the Samsung Note have the mobile tracker? I hope you've enabled that to alert you incase the SIM is changed. If thats on, you should have no difficulty tracking whoever uses the phone now.

Hope you recover from this horrendous incident soon.
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Old 24th April 2012, 16:40   #8
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Default Re: Lone Women Drivers in Delhi. Be Alert. I am still too shocked.

hi Sugeeta,

It's shocking to hear the news. Sad that the low down thugs resort to such things. It's that way in many cities also. Ours is no exception. It's best that people realize the method of the thugs and stay put. The general public is also at it's worst by not coming to the rescue fearing aftereffects and do not realize that they may be the next victim.

What if this incident had happened in a deserted locality? You would have been even more frightened. Thankfully there were people around and someone helped.

I do hope that the grazing by the bus did not do much damage to the fiesta. File a FIR as such things must not go unreported. Put this incident past yourself and move on to happier things.
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Old 24th April 2012, 16:44   #9
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Default Re: Lone Women Drivers in Delhi. Be Alert. I am still too shocked.

That was really sad and a scary incident Maam. Delhi in particular and all other cities in general are becoming increasingly unsafe. But however I must commend you on your presence of mind to not open the door of the car.

But incidences like these do paint a very sorry picture of law and order situation in our country. If this is what can happen in a main road with choc a bloc traffic during peak hours, I shudder to think what can happen in lonely stretches.

I dont think police is going to be of any help as of now. I was once in a more or less similar situation when my aunts chain was snatched just a few yards from me that too within the residential blocks in Janakpuri. The goons fled away on a bike and all we could do is chase them for some time. But they got away as we were on foot. All this happened so fast that we could nt even note the number of the bike. Police case was registered but as usual nothing came out of it.
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Old 24th April 2012, 16:46   #10
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Default Re: Lone Women Drivers in Delhi. Be Alert. I am still too shocked.

Sorry to hear the experience. Next time, make sure no matter what happens, you don't open the windows or release the central locking.

Some pointers:

Don't use the phone while driving (even if you are parked in a traffic jam or waiting at a traffic signal). This will ensure you have your complete attention on the road ahead and the surroundings. Might help you in responding better. I have a hunch this made you an easy target because the attackers knew you were distracted.
Use the car horn liberally in this case to indicate you need help.
Always keep your bag and other important stuff on the back seat (preferably on the floor where a person cannot flick it easily even if the windows were lowered a bit).
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Old 24th April 2012, 16:47   #11
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Default Re: Lone Women Drivers in Delhi. Be Alert. I am still too shocked.

Very disturbing to know. I am happy that you came out unhurt. I guess they must have a plan where they attack lone drivers (especially females) and snatch whatever they find (a cellphone/purse/gold jewellery like earrings and chains etc).

Does the fiesta have anti-pinch window winder? Because it would retract if it had hit the thief's hand/finger. In this situation, he would have got the bag as well. How much is the damage to the car? I know more than the car and cell phone, you must be mentally upset and full of angst!

What surprises me that instead of helping a lone lady people had the courage and will to make a video. Simply not acceptable.

I would suggest you to Lodge a FIR in the nearest PS. And be careful.

Last edited by Blow Horn Ok : 24th April 2012 at 16:49.
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Old 24th April 2012, 16:51   #12
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Default Re: Lone Women Drivers in Delhi. Be Alert. I am still too shocked.

How come he was able to put his hand inside the car?
Were you driving with rear window down? If yes then do make sure that from now on you keep them rolled up.

Shame on the bus driver to have honked. Was he blind?

Shame on the people around you. They reserve the "macho" side of their personality for vulnerable women it seems, all in the wrong way.

Delhi does have quite a reputation for being unsafe for women. Good thing nothing bad happened to you. Phone can be bought again.

I cannot say if filing a complain will be worth it since I do not know how proactive Delhi Police is.
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Old 24th April 2012, 16:57   #13
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Default Re: Lone Women Drivers in Delhi. Be Alert. I am still too shocked.

That's one scary experience for sure, good you did not let the guy open the car door! My suggestion, always keep a pepper spray handy and if possible, get a cam fixed (with a view of the doors, atleast the one's on the left hand side) inside the car. There are some available in the market. Let this incident not deter your driving spirit! Take care and drive safe!!
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Old 24th April 2012, 16:58   #14
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Default Re: Lone Women Drivers in Delhi. Be Alert. I am still too shocked.

Sugeeta - Very sad to hear about your harrowing experience. Nowadays, most people are afraid of helping out in such situations, because they are not sure who is going to pull out a gun or a knife. It is such a sad state of how things have come to pass.

By the way, I'd request folks not to make it an issue with Delhi and onwards with North India/Indians. I think such incidents do happen all across India, and there seem to be some threads already on the forum for similar incidents in Bangalore etc.
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Old 24th April 2012, 17:00   #15
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Default Re: Lone Women Drivers in Delhi. Be Alert. I am still too shocked.

Hi Sugeeta,

I've read about similar incidents in team-bhp. This seems quite common. The criminals must have observed you talk on hands-free and because your attention is split between driving and the conversation, the diverted attention was used to perform the trick.

I'd suggest you not to make calls when near intersections or even when in call, pay extra attention to such folks. Use sun-film to prevent them from seeing you; they wont be able to tell whether you're a lady or not and cant take advantage of you.

Nitin
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