VADODARA -- In an heroic act, an autorickshaw driver today rescued a 17-year-old youth from the jaws of a crocodile in Vishwamitri river.
The youth, Mukesh Sakla from Madhya Pradesh, was spotted in the river which passes through the middle of the city this afternoon crying for help and saved by auto driver, Ganibhai Mohammed Sheikh after a 10-15 minute battle with the crocodile.
Narrating the incident, Sheikh said, "I saw a youth screaming for help in the river while passing over Bhimnah bridge in Sayajigunj area at around 12.30 pm. Several people had gathered on the bridge and were pelting stones at the crocodile."
"After stopping my rickshaw, I went near the site of the river where this youth was struggling for life. I picked up an iron road from a nearby construction site and started hitting the crocodile on its head. The crocodile had clutched the youth's left hand between its terrifying jaws.
"Soon the crocodile retreated in the river water and the youth, who was bleeding profusely, was brought out," the 52-year-old auto driver said.
Sakla was rushed to the Gujarat Government-run SSG Hospital in a municipal van by local residents and is undergoing medical treatment.
Talking to PTI, PB Chauhan, Range Forest Officer, said they are trying to record the teenager's statement.
"The youth said he is from Madhya Pradesh, but beyond that he has not told us anything about himself or his family. It is also not known how he got into the river," he said.
Chauhan said several people told him that he jumped into the river from the bridge.
"There are many crocodiles in the river and one of them suddenly attacked and grabbed his left hand," he said, quoting eye-witnesses.
Sheikh said it took him 10 to 15 minutes to free the youth from the aquatic reptile's jaws. It is not known how serious is Sakla's injury.
More than 200 crocodiles are thought to inhabit Vishwamitri.