Pune: A 17-year-old Bengaluru girl was molested in a moving car on Mumbai-Pune highway after the girl boarded a cab to catch a bus to Bengaluru from Pune.

The girl, a runaway kid, left home last year and started to live with an 18-year-old boy in Pune. After the boy committed suicide, the police found out her age and sent her to a child care as she could not be sent back to Bengaluru due to the coronavirus lockdown.

The girl was shifted to hospital after she complained of fatigue.  She escaped from the hospital ward and wanted to return to Karnataka. She hoped to catch a bus to Bengaluru from Pune.

After a few cabs refused to drop her, a cabbie agreed. After she got into the cab, the driver and his friend started to harass and took her to Mumbra, Thane district.

The girl had dialled police, also raised an alarm and asked the duo to stop the car. The police reached and arrested the culprits.

As per reports, based on CCTV footage, police nabbed the cab driver and his friend in Mumbra. An officer was quoted saying, "We informed Thane control room and at around 3 pm on Saturday, we caught the accused from the car and rescued the girl."

The culprits have been booked under IPC sections 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) and 363 (kidnapping) of the Indian Penal Code along with sections 8 and 12 of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012.