The Karnataka State machinery’s claims of protection to northeast Indians were laid hollow when a 32-year-old theatreperson from Manipur was groped and molested by a mob even as a traffic policeman beat her up following an accident at the DVG Road junction at Basavanagudi here Wednesday evening.

The theatre artiste and playwright, driving home from work, stopped at the traffic light, when a speeding motorcycle hit her car from behind, damaging its bumper.

When the woman got down to check the damage, the two-wheeler rider started used vulgar language.

Soon a group of passersby joined him and started teasing and abusing her, the woman told The Hindu .

The terrified woman rushed to a traffic policeman, standing across the road, for help. But to her shock, he was not only indifferent but also grabbed her by the shoulders and pushed her aside.

Encouraged by this, the mob started groping her. The traumatised woman said: “I tried to explain to the policeman that the motorcycle rider was at fault, but he was rude.”

She quoted the policeman as having told her, “You don’t know Kannada. You don’t belong to this place.” Worse still, he then turned to the erring rider and encouraged him to leave the scene. Through all this, the mob continued to humiliate her, the victim said in her police complaint.

Not willing to let off the rider so easily, she mustered courage to physically stop him from leaving. At this, the policeman dragged her to the roadside and slapped her. The woman immediately took out her mobile phone and started taking pictures of the motorcycle rider.

Her ordeal then turned worse, when the mob started pulling at her clothes and jeering at her.

While one among the crowd removed his shirt, another man, wearing a lungi, exposed himself, she said. Many in the mob made indecent gestures, she said. In the melee, the motorcycle rider escaped.

Her trauma lasted some 15 minutes until a patrol vehicle reached the spot and the crowd melted away.

The woman then went to the Basavanagudi police station and filed a complaint.The police there booked a case against the traffic constable but they refused to give his name.