KARNATAKA

Gangs attack women in ‘western attire’

Deepika Arwind

Two attacks in broad daylight with people just looking on

Bangalore: In what appears to be inspired by the pub attack in Mangalore, three women have been attacked in the city over the past week. All three in their 20s and in “western clothing” were subject to varying degrees of violence. The first incident took place on February 17 at 1.10 p.m. in Indiranagar, when a young woman’s car was closely followed by two men on a motorcycle. “I was returning from my German class. I noticed the men following me, hooting and then overtaking my car,” she said on her blog, giving a detailed account of the unprovoked assault. She was spat on and her car was blocked even as the other car drivers, instead of stopping to help, just wanted her to get out of the way.

Speaking to The Hindu on condition of anonymity, the traumatised woman said: “Everyone could see that they were being aggressive and yelling obscenities in Kannada. No one came to my rescue.” After a chase, she sought refuge in an apartment building, where she was cornered. One of the men continued to shout obscenities and moved threateningly close. When she slapped him in self-defence, he punched her. “Aggravated, I shouted at him in Kannada. He was stunned to hear me speak the language. He noted down my licence plate number and told the guard he would harm me later,” she said. Shaken, she filed a complaint with the Deputy Commissioner of Police (East). DCP East B.K. Singh said that the complaint was registered 48 hours after the incident. “We are not able to identify the accused as the CCTVs at the signals have recordings for 24 hours only. We are investigating.”

Second assault

The second incident took place on Tuesday at 10 a.m., when a 28-year-old woman on her way to Kormangala was accosted by four men near RBANM’s College in Ulsoor. “Four men got off an SUV and started screaming at me. They tugged at my clothes in front of at least eight mute spectators. One of them even pulled my shrug off, scratched my neck and hit my ear,” she told The Hindu on condition of anonymity. She said that the four were all aged between 25 and 35. “When I said I would call the police, one of them offered me his mobile phone and told me to go right ahead. They saw an airline tag on my bag, got more aggravated and called me an outsider,” she said. “One of them said I must be part of the pink chaddi campaign.” Fortunately, an army van passed by and two soldiers ordered the men to stop harassing the woman.

“At first, the men even shoved the armymen, but stopped after they saw there were other soldiers in the van. It seemed like they were on a mission and looking for a victim,” she said, adding she is too shaken to file a complaint.

Later the same day, at 9 p.m., a young filmmaker was attacked by four men near High Grounds, past the Mount Carmel College. “At first, they jostled me and I told them to back off. They shouted obscenities in Kannada. I yelled back in English, which seemed to provoke them. It grew into a fight when they punched me and said I ‘deserved’ it for wearing jeans and sleeveless kurta and walking alone at night.” She managed to get into an autorickshaw and flee but not before they tried to drag her out. She registered a complaint at the High Grounds Police Station on Wednesday morning.

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