By Santoshee Gulabkalee Mishra
Software engineer Swapnali Lad (24), who sustained serious injuries after she jumped out of a moving autorickshaw to thwart an abduction attempt, is now out of danger with doctors at Jupiter Hospital in Thane having kept her off the life support system for the past three days.
Lad, however, is still unconscious and in a vegetative state because of the severe injury sustained to her brain. “We have taken her off the life support system. She is now out of danger, but is still unconscious. The brain injury is very serious and she is only responding through reflex action. She is in a vegetative state. It will probably take at least three months to come out of amnesia too.
Unfortunately, 80 per cent of her body is affected by paralysis because of critical injury to the brain,” said an official from Jupiter Hospital.
The cyber crime cell has been roped in to assist the police officers investigating the case. “We have been asked by senior officials to check her profile and friends on various social networking sites to find if there is something that may help in the probe on the attempted kidnapping. A senior officer met the victim’s family in hospital recently,” said an officer from the cyber crime cell.
Lad, employed with Tata Consultancy Services, was dropped at Capital Hotel on Ghodbunder Road by her manager after work on August 1. She boarded an autorickshaw to go to Kolshet. At Kapurbawdi Naka, the driver drove straight towards Bhiwandi, instead of turning left for Kolshet. Lad called out for help and jumped off the vehicle.
The Kapurbawdi police had, on August 7, detained three men in connection with the alleged kidnapping attempt and a suspected attack on a witness who had tried to help Lad after she fell out of the rickshaw. The trio, however, were released after it was established that they too were trying to help the victim.
Almost a week after the incident, the police began a drive to obtain records of each autorickshaw and taxi plying in the city.
The police have also reached out to the autorickshaw drivers’ union for their help in identifying the accused.