On Sunday evening, a woman and her teenage daughter were allegedly stalked and harassed in Mysuru. The incident occurred at the Open Street Festival as a part of the Mysuru Dasara celebrations along Krishnaraja Boulevard in the heart of Mysuru city.
The two women were allegedly stalked from the venue of the event till their house. Several anonymous accounts of women, who experienced sexual harassment during the festival, came tumbling out on Twitter. A father and his daughter were allegedly abused publicly and several women came out with their stories of being groped.
âI was with two foreign nationals at the festival. Five men, who were lingering around us, assumed that I didnât understand Kannada and went on to talk about how each part of our bodies looked and began commenting on who had better body parts. They even called us whores for the clothes we were wearing. I confronted the men, who pretended they did not hear us and walked away. I am so thankful that the foreign nationals could not understand what was being said to us,â one of the women said.
Several women also corroborated her story and accused the police of not providing adequate security at a huge public gathering.
So major things that happened in Open Street festival 2018.â Mysuru Memes (@MysuruMemes) October 14, 2018
This is the replies we got for one Instagram story. @DC_Mysuru @D_Roopa_IPS @Randeep_Dev @GTDevegowda @mepratap @mlasaramahesh @Star_Of_Mysore @CMofKarnataka @narendramodi @DrParameshwara @siddaramaiah @tv9kannada pic.twitter.com/Tm9bRJ0bMm
A 24-year-old woman and resident of Mysuru, on the condition of anonymity, said that she and her friends were sexually harassed by drunk men and when her friend called for help, no one came forward. She also put out a tweet stating, âSome boys came drunk and they came near us and were falling on us. One girl raised her voice but no one came to support her.â
Another 26-year-old woman, who was also at the incident, said that there were men on bikes who smacked girls on their backs and rode away.
The incident first came to light when âMysuru Memesâ, a social media page came out with over 50 such complaints. The Mysuru Memes had also received complaints of women slapping their harassers. The incidents came to light when the social media page had asked women to share their stories if they were sexually harassed at the street festival.
However, the police officials denied knowledge of such instances and also urged the women to come forward and file complaints. Mysuru Police Commissioner A Subramanyeshwara Rao said that so far the CCTV footage they have procured has not recorded any such instance of sexual harassment.
âWe urge the women to come forward and file complaints so that such miscreants can be brought to book,â he added.
A senior police officer told TNM that they are following up on a lead related to the men on the bikes who attacked the women.
âWe are still combing through the CCTV footages. As and when we find such instances, they will be investigated. The event organisers are going to give us the CCTV footage of over 50 cameras. Maybe we will find something,â he added.
Subramanyeshwara Rao was reacting to the slew of tweets on inappropriate touching, stalking, sexual overtures, lewd remarks and assault. Women who chose to remain anonymous shared their horrific experiences on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. A few explained how they were sexually assaulted, molested and manhandled in the dense crowd.