Dharmasthala police have arrested a youth, Thomas, for allegedly molesting and assaulting two women and an autorickshaw driver near Gandibagilu on Monday evening.

The police said that a 20-year-old woman was returning home from Aniyuru to Gandibagilu along with her sister when the youth allegedly assaulted her.

The sisters who travelled from Ujire in a bus got off at Aniyuru and then boarded an autorickshaw, being driven by Satish, to reach their home in Gandibagilu.

Soon, Thomas followed the autorickshaw in a pick-up vehicle and hit the rear of the autorickshaw near Sion Ashram. The autorickshaw overturned and fell into a roadside ditch.

Then, Thomas bit the hands of Satish and pushed him aside. Later, he pulled one of the sisters aged 20 by her hair and asked why she did not love him. When her sister came to her rescue, Thomas assaulted the other sister too. He then made an attempt to molest them.

When the sisters screamed for help, people from nearby rushed to the spot but Thomas managed to flee.

This led to a flash protest by people on the road seeking the immediate arrest of Thomas. The women too filed a complaint.

The police arrested Thomas late on Monday for offences under Sections 354 (assaulting a woman with an intent to outrage her modesty), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) and 307 (attempt to murder) of the Indian Penal Code.

The police said that the accused was involved in several criminal cases earlier.

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