The Tamil Nadu police detained a man after a 28-year-old Bengaluru marketing executive accused him of groping her while she was asleep when travelling by train last week.
This after she confronted the alleged assaulter with the help of her friends after a chase through the train’s compartments, despite no immediate help from the police or rail officials.
According to the FIR which TNM has accessed, Christina* (name changed) boarded coach S-8 of the Kochuveli-Mysore Express at Ernakulam along with her friends on November 5. The alleged groping occurred around 5 am the next day. The accused has been identified as 32-year-old Sunish V.
While the Bangalore Cantonment Police registered a case under IPC section 354A (Sexual harassment and punishment for sexual harassment), it was transferred to the Jolarpettai Railway Police Station based on jurisdiction.
The police have taken down the details of the accused and are likely to arrest him based on further investigation, sources said. The official transfer of the case will take 10 days.
The FIR read: “Midway through her journey on 06-11-2019 early morning 04.45 am to 05.30 am between Salem and Tirupattur she was awakened from her sleep to find the accused who touched her back and bottom in a sexually intended manner. She immediately got up and the accused began to quickly walk away to the next coach. She followed him whilst raising an alarm for help and finally caught hold of him in the adjacent coach. When confronted, the accused feigned innocence, but she did not receive immediate help.”
It added, “Then she went back to her coach to find help during which the accused managed to slip away. Along with her fellow travellers and friends traced him down to a few coaches away and confronted him again. They immediately tried to find TTE or the police but to no avail and had to wait till the next station Tirupattur to get help. Here, they got off to look for help but did not find any immediately. Due to the lack of immediate available of help and lack of time her friend pulled the emergency chain, till we got help. Only after this did the GRP police and RPF Tirupattur arrived and the accused was handed over to them at Tirupattur (sic).”
The woman could not register a complaint with the local police immediately due to lack of time, and lodged a complaint with the Bangalore Cantonment Police after she alighted.
Vadivukarasi, Inspector at Jolarpettai Railway Police Station, said, “We were not able to take further action since a complaint was not registered. If the complaint was filed with the Bengaluru Cantonment Railway Police, they should have reached out to us to know about the accused so as to make the arrest. Immediate communication would have meant that we could have handed him over.”