"People just watched as my husband tried to protect me."
This was how one of the two shell-shocked NRI victims of the New Year night molestation incident described her plight while recounting the tale of horror, which has shocked this metropolis. The woman was married just the previous day.
She said the hooligans pinched and groped her while her husband spoke about how helpless he was when around 50 people were trying to get at his wife and cousin. The victims are based in California and were on a vacation to Mumbai.
"I just want to get over the horror. I want to stop seeing my face on TV. When we came out of the hotel (early) on January 1, I did not sense any trouble. But when we were walking, the crowd just kept getting closer," said the woman, who was not identified, in an interview to a city tabloid.
"They touched my butt and pinched me. They also began grabbing my cousin sister-in-law," she said, adding, "I believe Mumbaikars are not willing to stop and help people in trouble."
Her husband, who was also not identified said, "We are the victims. We were at J W Mariott from 9 PM on December 31 and at around 2 am we (he, his wife and two cousins) decided to leave (the hotel) and take a rickshaw back to hotel Royal Gardens."
"Just as we stepped out, we saw a group heading for us. They reached us and immediately began grabbing my wife. Since we were walking against the crowd it was difficult to move ahead. But then it got worse. It seemed like the whole crowd was on my wife and my cousin," he said.
"Then somebody pushed all of us on the ground. It seemed like they were 50 people around.... All trying to get at my wife and cousin."
The victim's husband said "my brother and I tried to fight the crowd, but they were too many. That's when some photographers started clicking us."
"All of a sudden from the crowd, there emerged a man wearing a red T-shirt who tried to help us and started shouting for the police. The cops arrived in a few minutes and the crowd thinned out," he said.
"I told the police that my wife and cousin were molested. They put us in their vehicle and took us to the Juhu police station from where we were put in an auto and we went to our hotel."
Explaining the reason for not filing a police complaint, the victim's husband said, "We could not identify any of the molesters as it happened too fast. For the record neither the police nor the J W Mariott hotel should be blamed."
"We are all based in California and I got married just a day before this horrible incident. I have been coming to Mumbai for the last five years, but this experience on New Year has changed my perception about Mumbai," he added.
"We don't want to be bothered by the media and want to enjoy whatever is left of our vacations. And yes, I want to thank the man in the red T-shirt (who helped us)," he added.