New Year revelry in Bengaluru sure turned sour with reports of molestation on MG Road and Brigade Road

The crowd let my molester get away Bengaluru woman recounts New Year horrorBangalore Mirror
news Molestation Monday, January 02, 2017 - 23:14

"I work as a photographer for a pub in Indira Nagar. It was past midnight and I was getting my friend into a cab. We were walking from my workplace, when a man, who must be in his late twenties, walked past me and groped me. It took me a few seconds to register what had actually happened. I turned, pulled him by the collar and started beating him. There were no cops around. A few people saw what was happening and within a few minutes, there were around 20 people trying to pull me back. The man, who molested me, kept saying that he didn't do anything. The crowd pulled me back and the man pushed me at the same time and ran away. If the people around had not stopped me, I would have taken the man to the police and filed a complaint. It was because of the crowd that he was able to get away.”

This is how Chaitali Wasnik, a 24-year-old female photographer described to TNM what she had to endure in Bengaluru on New Year ’s Eve.

Her experience was however not an isolated one.

New Year revelry in Bengaluru sure turned sour with reports of molestation on MG Road and Brigade Road, both situated in the city’s Central Business District.

While pictures of women running to safety surfaced in the Bangalore Mirror, Home Minister G Parameshwara seems to think that it is the women who are at fault.

“Unfortunately, youngsters these days are almost like westerners. They try to copy not only the western mindset but also the way they dress and molestation and this kind of things happen, which is why we deploy police during New Year. Bengaluru’s night life has been regulated on a daily basis but on a day like New Year, it is difficult to handle, so we have to look into what can be done,” Parameshwara told Times Now while reacting to the turn of events.

The Home Minister however changed his tune after a while and told the media that such acts were condemnable.

Bengaluru City Police Commissioner Praveen Sood said, “Even without a complainant if police finds credible evidence of molestation a case will be registered suo motu without waiting. If any lady gives complaint of molestation on 31st Dec police will not waste even a minute to register a case and start investigation.”

Bangalore Mirror, on Monday, reported that many men mobbed the revellers, groped and made lewd comments about women on the streets, although around 1,500 police personnel were deployed.

The report suggested that the police force remained a spectator to these incidents as the crowd outnumbered the ‘large force’ that was deployed.

Some women had to take off their stilettos and run for help, the Mirror report said. Many women were being cocooned by friends and family members to protect them from being attacked.

Astonishingly, the report also points out that the police have not registered any official cases of molestation despite several eyewitness accounts, although some of the police personnel did admit to helping women in distress.

Photos which surfaced in Bangalore Mirror showed police personnel resorting to lathicharge as crowd control began.

However, contrary to what Bangalore Mirror reported, city based English news channel News 9 showed footage of police helping women, including drunken women get to safety.

The channel maintained that multiple reporters at the spot had not witnessed any ‘mass molestation’ and reports blaming the police were factually incorrect.

This has not been the only year such an instance has occurred. During the new year celebrations on December 31, 2015, a woman was molested on MG Road. The police, who came to her aid, took her to the Army campus nearby. However, the miscreants had already absconded.