Delhi Police on Monday finally registered a complaint from two sisters who were allegedly molested and beaten up in the university area two days ago - the latest victims of sexual harassment in a city notoriously unsafe for women, particularly from the northeast.
The sisters from Manipur are residents of north Delhi's Gandhi Vihar locality where they run a cybercafé and live with their younger brother. Along with the girls, the men also beat up their brother when he tried to intervene.
The incident took place on Saurday night but did not surface until Monday morning - when newspapers reported the incident - because the police allegedly refused to lodge the first information report (FIR).
Madhu Chandra of the North East Support Centre, a help centre especially for the youth of northeast living in the Delhi-NCR (National Capital Region), to whom the girls turned to for help, said: "The incident took place on Saturday night but even after the girls went to the Timarpur police station to lodge the complaint, nothing was done. They called me for help. Even after my intervention, no complaint was lodged.
"After that, when the media got the whiff of the incident, the assistant commissioner of police (ACP) of north Delhi, Suman Goel, came and spoke to the girls on Monday morning and finally a case was registered," Chandra told IANS.
Chandra estimates that about 50 per cent of sexual harassment cases in the Delhi-NCR region target girls from the northeast. "I had a word with the girls this morning. Then the deputy commissioner of police, DC Srivastava, has taken their statement. The case has been registered," said ACP Goel.
On the night of the incident, the 18-year-old was returning home from the market when two men from the locality followed her and passed lewd comments.
On reaching their cybercafé, she narrated the incident to her elder sister, who is 20, and their brother. All this while, the men followed them and kept abusing them.
Furious, the elder sister slapped one of the men. "Embarrassed, the men left after threatening them. After an hour, 25 men, all drunk, reached the girls and started misbehaving with them. Not only did they molest them, but also started beating them up.
"While the elder sister suffered bruises on her face, the younger sister's arm was dislodged. When the brother tried to intervene, he was also beaten up until he started bleeding. Seeing all of this, a northeastern boy called me up and I asked them to call the police," Chandra said.
The police apparently asked them to identify the accused and said only then would the FIR be lodged.
This is not the first time that girls from the northeast have faced sexual harassment in the capital and the NCR region.
On December 23, the Northeast Support Centre received a complaint from a girl from Manipur working as a receptionist in a private company in Gurgaon that her boss molested her in the office.
Similarly, a minor northeastern girl in Gurgaon is still suffering after she was molested three times in December by her house owner.
There are approximately 85,000 youth from the northeast staying in the Delhi-NCR region.