Video footage sent by a TOI reader of a street here showing two men on a scooter blocking a young woman’s path, getting off and then groping her just hours into the new year has emerged as a chilling testimony to the accounts of mass molestation on New Year’s Eve+ that have shaken up India’s IT capital.
The incident, which occurred around 2.30am on Sunday , was recorded by a CCTV camera installed at a house near the Kammanahalli 5th Main Road in east Bengaluru. When accosted, the woman had just got off an autorickshaw and was 50 metres from her house.
With even a Karnataka minister, G Parameshwara, dismissing complaints about mass molestation during New Year’s Eve celebrations at MG Road and Brigade Road as something “that happens in crowded places”+ , the video serves as a reality check, proving that Bengaluru’s residential areas are not safe either.
The video emerged the same day Bengaluru commissioner of police Praveen Sood said his team had found credible evidence about the mass molestation, and “was working on the case silently”. An FIR had been filed in the New Year Eve mass molestation incident, Sood added in a tweet on Tuesday night.
The reader, who did not want to be identified, said: “I did not want to remain silent after seeing what happened on our street.” The reader added, “I came to know about the incident when the woman came to my house with her friends on Monday, saying that she wanted to view the CCTV footage as she was groped by two youths nearby. What I saw in the video left me disturbed. If residential areas, too, are unsafe for women, where are they supposed to go?”
SHOT BY SHOT
The video starts with an autorickshaw stopping on the road. A girl gets off and runs towards her house, while another is still in the auto, paying the fare. The second one then steps out, and she barely takes a few steps into a bylane when two men zoom past her on a scooter before intercepting her. One of the miscreants then gets off the two-wheeler, walks towards her, grabs her, molests her as she squirms and tries to push him away , and then drags her towards his friend, still on the scooter. The woman tries to hit him but he overpowers her and pushes her towards the scooter. The woman is then seen struggling to escape as the youths grope her and try to pull off her clothes. As she puts up stiff resistance, they push her to the road and ride away .
The woman told the reader: “I don’t know the people who attacked and molested me. It was bad. I realised that my wallet was missing after the incident. I guess they robbed me too.” She said she didn’t want to approach police as it would be of no use given the fact that the government itself acknowledged that such things happened in the city. “Why create nuisance for ourselves?” she told her friends.