Sexual Assault
Four arrested in Bengaluru molestation case, one a commerce student in a city college

Facing heat over the multiple instances of molestation on New Year’s Eve in Bengaluru, the police have quickly moved into action on the Kammanahalli molestation case. In that case, two men were captured on CCTV footage molesting a woman on a residential street in the area in the early hours of January 1.

The police recorded the arrest of four men on Thursday, after eight persons were detained for questioning a day before. 

The prime accused has been identified as Aiyappa, a delivery boy. 

The second person seen in the video, who aided the prime accused in molesting the woman, has been identified as Lenin alias Leno, and has also been arrested by the police. 

Two other persons --  Sudhesh and Somasekhara alias Chinni -- both residents of Frazer Town, have also been arrested. Investigations are on to nab two more culprits involved in the incident. 

Addressing a press meet, Bengaluru Police Commissioner Praveen Sood said, "We worked for two days and arrested four people. Two of them were delivery boys and one works with a courier company. Another one is a student. One more accomplice will be arrested soon."

The men had been stalking the victim for few days, he added. They had been working in the same area and were not friends with her, he said. He added that all the accused were from Bengaluru.

"They had been watching her for a few days. They were waiting for her that night near her house," he said.

The Commissioner also said that they did not even try to get the victim's version as the footage showed that it was a clear case of molestation. "We started working on the case and did not even try to get the victim's version. It was evident." He added that the police had got in touch with the victim, and requested journalists not to pursue any questions regarding her identity, as she had suffered trauma already. 

The police had filed a suo motu case after a local resident, whose CCTV camera had captured the incident, handed over the footage of the molestation to the media. The woman had not come forward to file a complaint. 

The chilling CCTV footage had excited great outrage, since it came as reports of multiple incidents of molestation from MG Road and Brigade Road in the city had already ignited a powerful debate. The video shows a woman getting off an auto rickshaw and walking towards her house on the Kammanahalli 5th Main Road, while another woman settles the auto fare. The second woman then hops out of the auto and walks into the lonely road. Two men on a bike drive past her. On seeing her, the rider makes a U-turn and intercepts her.

The rider of the bike gets off and grabs the woman, forcibly kissing her and harassing her even as she struggles to get away. The man then drags her to his friend, who remains seated on the bike. The two of them assault her and try to remove her clothes. As the woman puts up a brave fight, trying to get away, the men shove her on to the ground and ride away. 

The Commissioner said that the four accused had been booked under sections 341 (wrongful restraint), 354 A and B (sexual harrassment) and 34 (Acts done by several persons with common intention).

Praveen Sood also asked people to come forward with any evidence they had.