Even as Bengaluru comes to terms with the alleged “mass molestation” on New Year’s Day, a shocking and disturbing video has surfaced from the city’s Kammanahalli area, where a woman was sexually harassed and robbed.
The chilling CCTV footage 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 victim then walks away, stunned by what has just happened. If you watch the video carefully, you can see a few other men standing at the beginning of the road and watching the incident without intervening. The police are said to be investigating if these men were bystanders who chose not to respond or accomplices.
The incident took place at 2:40 am on Sunday, on New Year’s Day at Kammanahalli 5th Main Road in east Bengaluru. The horrifying incident was captured on CCTV camera installed at a residence on the street.
According to a report by the Times of India, the woman lost her wallet in the incident. She, however, she refused to lodge a complaint with the police believing that they would not take action and said that it was of no use when the government had acknowledged that such instances happen in the city, the report states.
An FIR has been registered in the case. Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Police Commissioner Praveen Sood said, "Yesterday, we got credible evidence. We didn't waste time and registered a criminal case suo motu. It's a case of molestation clubbed with some attempt to robbery." He added that police teams are working and are confident of arresting the accused.
With the police coming under pressure following multiple cases of harassment in the city on New Year's Day, Commissioner Sood noted, "We have nothing to hide and no one to protect. We assure you that we will make the city safer by taking action against the accused."
Reacting to the alleged case of "mass molestation" on MG Road in Bengaluru, the Commissioner had earlier tweeted saying, "Enquiry conducted by a DCP rank officer has gone through feed from 45 cameras at MG Road. Unedited video available with police." Sood then goes on to say in another tweet, “I wonder why the media is blurring the images. We have the exactly same original footage and if you see that uncut, the story is different.”
The police told TNM that they have been viewing the CCTV footage from 50 different cameras and have also requested the footage from cameras belonging to private establishments.
“We have not yet found any evidence of molestation on MG Road and Brigade Road but the footage is still being examined,” a police official said.
A report by the Deccan Chronicle stated that the Commissioner would release a two-minute video of uncut footage on his Twitter handle. The report, however, did not mention the date when it would be released.