Trying to help out an accident victim came at a high price for 24-year-old Rishabh Mandal who was duped, robbed of his valuables, and held captive for over two hours on Friday night.
According to Mandal, he was on his way home in Patel Nagar, Delhi, when the incident occurred, near the Noida City Centre Metro station.
“I got off an auto-rickshaw around 8pm at the service lane near the Metro station, when a man in his mid twenties approached me. He said his younger sister had met with an accident and was trapped in a car, and said he needed my help to pull her out of the car. I accompanied him to a street nearby to help him out,” Mandal, who is preparing for competitive exams, said.
He said they were followed by another person, which was when he realised something was amiss.
“The person who was following us asked what was going on. That’s when the tone of the man who asked for my help changed. I realised something was amiss and tried to leave. However, a third person blocked me from behind. One of them pulled out a gun and another held a knife to my throat. They took my phone, smartwatch and wallet. I didn’t have much cash on me so they asked me to withdraw money from any ATM. When I told them that I didn’t have money in the account, they asked me to arrange it and threatened me with dire consequences if I did not comply,” Mandal said.
He said a couple of passersby were around. “But I was so scared that I could not approach them and anyone passing by would not have guessed what was going on. I called my elder brother for help. When he didn’t take the call, I called my younger brother and asked him to transfer money to my account,” he said, adding that the accused also suggested several excuses he could give his brother to encourage him to transfer the money.
“I withdrew Rs 5,000, which he transferred to me and handed it over. They didn’t come into the ATM kiosk with me for fear of getting captured in the CCTV camera. When they realised that I was scared and was complying with their demands, they got greedier. They took my phone and asked my brother to send more money. They took nearly Rs 28,000 in multiple transactions,” he said.
Mandal alleged that he tried to flee but the accused held him captive. “They were manhandling me the whole time and abusing me. They even threatened to kill me. Finally, around 10.10pm, when one of them was on his phone and the other two were talking, I decided to flee. They followed me, but I came upon a wedding party where I asked a few people for help. They gave me Rs 100 and dropped me at the Golf Course Metro station from where I came back home and filed an e-FIR,” said Mandal.
Based on his complaint, a case of robbery (Section 392) under the Indian Penal Code was registered at the Sector 24 police station.
“An investigation is ongoing in the case, and we will nab the accused soon,” Mithlesh Updhyay, station house officer, Sector 24 police station, said.