In a video that went viral on social media, Durga Gawde, a Mumbai-based artist, has expressed outrage at the manner in which she was sexually and physically assaulted on a busy road in North Goa last week and has expressed disappointment at the accused being granted bail after four days.
Ms. Gawde urged social media users to spread the hashtag #StandUpForYourself and #LockUpBrianFranco. She said in her complaint that Mr. Franco used lewd language in front of the police over the weekend.
Ms. Gawde said the accused had assaulted her badly during an altercation that began after she complained about him speaking on the phone while riding a two-wheeler and almost crashing into her vehicle near a petrol pump at Saligao village on May 31.
“He stalked me, cornered my bike and stopped his bike in front of mine such that I had to stop. He proceeded to remove my bike keys and threw them away and then started to hit my bike and intimidate me. I was not scared, I looked straight into his eyes without fear,” she said in her post.
Ms. Gawde also described the sexually abusive way in which he allegedly attacked her. “Even though the cops at Saligao police station were helpful and seemed to be on my side, while I was giving my statement Brian Franco was behaving obscenely,” she said.
The police inspector in charge of the police station, Santosh Desai, said the accused was arrested soon after the complaint was filed by Ms. Gawde under Sections 354 (outraging modesty) and 354 d (stalking) 323 (causing hurt voluntarily), and 504 (breach of peace) of the Indian Penal Code.
“He was soon remanded in police custody for two days. After we objected to his release, he was again remanded for two more days by the magistrate, before being released on bail. He was in police custody for four days,” said Mr. Desai.
Last month, a video of a Russian woman tourist being stalked and attacked by a man on a motorcycle had gone viral, following which police arrested the accused. In another case, a Korean woman had complained to the police in North Goa about a drunken man abusing her. He threatened her again after the police warned him. Police intervened only after the cases were covered in the media.