Bike taxi driver arrested in Chennai for stalking 24-year-old woman racer

Chennai-based Nivetha Jessica had complained that the accused had followed her on a bike for close to 10 minutes in the wee hours of May 11.
Chandra Haasan
Chandra Haasan

After a stalking complaint from a woman, the Chennai police arrested the accused on Tuesday, May 17. He has been identified as Chandra Haasan, a 34-year-old bike taxi driver from Puliyanthope, Chennai. The complaint by 24-year-old bike racer Nivetha Jessica said that Chandra Haasan had followed her on his bike for close to 10 minutes in the wee hours of May 11. His face had been covered with a helmet. As per Nivetha’s complaint, the accused started following her from the Ashok Pillar road all the way to Adambakkam.

“Initially I thought he was going on the same route. But soon, I realised he was stalking me,” Jessica told TNM. Nivetha, who is a professional motorcycle racer and two-time national champion, decided to pull over at the crowded Adambakkam metro station and confront the man. However, he did not stop. “He rode away. So, I thought he had panicked. I then continued my ride back to my house thinking he would not return,” explains the founder of Chennai-based Motorcycle Club of India. But that is not what happened.

When she reached the Adambakkam subway, the man emerged again and tried to snatch her phone. “I am not sure whether he was attempting to molest me or take my phone away,” Nivetha told TNM.

Nivetha added that when she yelled at him, he rode away fast, allegedly shouting, “Yes, I will do this again.” Nivetha could not note down the vehicle number as she says that the man’s bike did not have a number plate. Following this, she filed a complaint with the Adambakkam police station the same night.

After four days of investigations, the police zeroed in on the accused. “The police had said that since the man’s face was covered and his bike did not have a number plate, they will have to trace his route using CCTV (Close Circuit TV) visuals from different neighbourhoods,” Nivetha told TNM.

Nivetha also said that she had tried to call the National SOS helpline when she realised she was being stalked, but had not received a response at the time.

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