Nivetha Jessica was followed by an unknown man who was wearing a biker’s gear. She tried contacting the government of India’s SOS line, but says she did not receive a response.

chennai woman bikerNivetha is a bike racer and was stalked
news Crime Wednesday, May 11, 2022 - 19:59

In a horrifying ordeal, a 24-year-old woman reported being followed on a bike by a yet unidentified man in full biking gear for over ten minutes in Chennai city and shared the experience on Twitter. The incident took place post midnight on May 11 in Adambakkam when Nivetha Jessica (24), was riding back to her house from Annanagar, and noticed that she was being followed by a man from when she reached Ashok Pillar.

“Initially I thought he was going on the same route. But soon, I realized he was stalking me,” Jessica tells 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.

On taking a left turn and upon reaching the Adambakkam subway, the biker seemed to emerge again from nowhere, says Nivetha. “He rode really fast and came very close to me. He tried to snatch my phone from my hand and I still don’t know whether he was attempting to snatch my phone or molest me,” she alleges. Nivetha adds 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. His face too was covered with a helmet, she adds.

The young woman also dialed the emergency support service or SOS number 121 provided by the government of India under the Nirbhaya funds. “The SOS is inbuilt in iPhones and easy to dial. However, the line kept ringing and nobody picked up. It then got disconnected,” she says. As for the Tamil Nadu Women’s Safety SOS app Kavalan, Nivetha says that everything happened so quickly that she did not have the time to unlock her phone, open the app, and use the SOS option on it.

Nivetha says she went straight to the Adambakkam police station and filed a complaint. “My complaint was registered and I was also taken to the spot where the incident took place to identify the accused man from the CCTV footage,” she says.

She also tweeted her ordeal on the same day. The Twitter thread has now been widely shared. “The police have promised to look into the complaint and trace the accused man within 24 hours. As his bike did not have a number plate and his face was hidden with a helmet, the police will have to check CCTV footage from multiple neighborhoods to see where he was going and trace his location,” Nivetha says.

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