A 24-year-old woman was feared abducted on her way home from work in Ghaziabad Wednesday night. Dipti Sarna, an employee of e-commerce firm Snapdeal, boarded a shared autorickshaw from Vaishali Metro station to the Ghaziabad bus stand, an 11-km stretch, and has since been missing.
UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav’s office tweeted that he had asked the Ghaziabad Senior Superintendent of Police to “personally head the search operation”, and that several teams had been formed. Delhi Police informed Snapdeal that they too had alerted all patrol teams. Snapdeal had earlier tweeted Dipti’s photo, seeking information on her.
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According to police, Dipti disappeared around 8.30 pm Wednesday near Hindon Bridge. “Her father was waiting for her near the Ghaziabad bus stand when he received a call from her friend. The friend informed her father that she was in danger.
He had been speaking to her on the phone when he heard her scream and the call got disconnected,” S J Patil, SP City, Ghaziabad, said.
“We have been able to trace her last location to a village called Nandgram which is near Hindon Bridge. Preliminary investigations point to a case of abduction. Search operations in the area are being conducted and questioning is on,” SSP Dharmendra Singh said.
An FIR under IPC section 364 — kidnapping or abducting in order to murder — has been lodged by the girl’s family, Singh said. Police said they were going through CCTV footage, mostly from the Vaishali Metro station.
A resident of Kavi Nagar, Dipti works as a company secretary in Snapdeal’s legal department in Gurgaon. Her father Narendra Sarna said: “My daughter has been taking the same route every evening for the last one year. She would board the Metro from Gurgaon and travel to Vaishali. Before boarding a shared autorickshaw from Vaishali, she would call us. When she would reach Hindon Bridge, she would call again and ask me to reach Ghaziabad bus stand.”
On Wednesday evening too, Dipti called her father at 7.42 pm from Vaishali Metro station. At 8.17 pm, she made a second call, asking her father to reach the bus stand. Minutes later, her father received a call from her friend, alerting him that his daughter was in danger.
“Her friend, who was in Bengaluru, called me and said they had been speaking on the phone when Dipti screamed and the call got disconnected. At that time, I was waiting for her near Ghaziabad bus stand. I rushed to the Hindon Bridge area, called her but the phone was switched off,” the father said.
Police said no eyewitness has stepped forward so far but they were looking for another young woman who might have been on the same autorickshaw.
“Some autorickshaw drivers in the Hindon Bridge area have said that around the same time last night, a young woman had come to their stand and was crying. She apparently told them that she was pushed out of the shared autorickshaw by some men who waved a knife at her. The autorickshaw drivers said the woman claimed that there was another woman in the autorickshaw. Efforts to track this witness are underway,” a police officer said.