Bangalore : During the new year celebrations, several incidents of mass molestations of single women by mobs of drunken men have been brought to light in Bangalore, the IT capital of India. Most importantly, these incidents took place in the presence of police but police were outnumbered and incapacitated by the large crowd.
At some places, police did the lathi (baton) charge to rescue the victimised women. However the women were so shocked to see this happen in the presence of the police that none of them came forward to file a complaint. Only when the episode was exposed by the media, Bangalore police were forced to register suo moto cases in this connection.
In 2007 at Gateway of India in Mumbai, a mob of 60 people had tried to gang rape a girl during New Year celebrations. A friend who tried to rescue her was also beaten up by the mob. This incident was similar to the recent one at Bangalore. However this was not the only case of such an incident in Bangalore on 31st December 2016; more such similar occurrences have come into light. Four years ago, after the infamous ‘Nirbhaya’ case there was a surge of anger throughout the country. Laws were made more stringent to avoid atrocities on women. In spite of such efforts, the Bangalore episode highlights the failure to control such incidents.
Thousands of people had gathered at Bangalore’s MG Road, Bridge Road and Church Road on New Years day for celebrations, most of them being drunk. There was police patrolling at various places in the city to avoid mishaps. In spite of this, several incidents of molestation of women took place.
Groups of drunken men targeted young women, especially the ones that were separated from their friends in the crowd. Those who tried to rescue these girls were also beaten up. At some places, police had to do a lathi charge for rescue.
Ironically Bangalore police had claimed that not a single complaint has been lodged in this regard. However video footages of these incidents have started surfacing in the media. Mobile as well as CCTV footages have come out, which has resulted in increased pressure on the police, who in turn have now lodged a complaint and started their investigation.
This disgraceful incident has raised a lot of questions. Bangalore being an IT hub, many foreign nationals frequent the city. Youth from across the country also come and stay in Bangalore due to job requirements. Are there enough security arrangements in such an important city? Why could the police not take any action against these drunken youth? Why did the police wait for initiating investigation until footages were released in the media? Such and many more questions are being raised. However it has also become clear that the police force was under tremendous pressure due to the enormous crowd on the streets of Bangalore.