At least four incidents of alleged sexual harassment were reported in quick succession on Monday evening, raising concerns about the safety of women in the city. Of the four persons arrested, three were beaten up by people before they were apprehended.
A jawan of the Border Security Force, who had allegedly harassed a young woman working with a television channel, was chased by locals and beaten up in the Shyambazaar area around 7.30 p.m. Police had to resort to baton charge to disperse the mob and rescue the accused.
In another incident, an auto driver who sexually harassed a woman passenger in the Regent Park area around 8 p.m. was beaten up. The driver managed to escape.
A woman lodged a complaint at the Kasba police station that she was sexually assaulted by a person who was arrested around 10 p.m.
In yet another incident earlier in the evening at the Baghbazaar ghat in North Port, a youth who passed lewd remarks at a woman was beaten up and handed over to the police.
Commenting on the incidents of alleged sexual harassment, Sunanda Mukherjee, chairperson of the West Bengal Commission for Women, said that the only positive thing that emerged out of these incidents was the people’s protest against such crimes.
“It is a very welcome development. This kind of behaviour by an ordinary person on the streets was not evident a few years ago. It will help women to protest against incidents of sexual harassment at public places,” Ms. Mukherjee said.
Referring to the incident of the alleged molestation of a college student in a bus earlier this month that was followed by a strong protest by other students of her college, she said that it reflects a “change in the mindset of the people.”
“If people raise their voice and protest against every such incident, the rate of crime against women is bound to come down,” Ms. Mukherjee said.