Bengaluru ‘mass molestation’: What we know and what we don’t | karnataka | Hindustan Times
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Bengaluru ‘mass molestation’: What we know and what we don’t

Police have filed an FIR in the alleged Bengaluru mass molestation incident that happened when thousands of revellers had gathered around the junction of Brigade Road and MG Road to usher the New Year on Saturday.

karnataka Updated: Jan 04, 2017 15:47 IST
HT Correspondent
Police personnel attempt to manage crowds during New Year's eve celebrations in Bengaluru on January 1, 2017. Reports of women being molested that night began surfacing almost immediately, evoking strong public criticism on social media.
Police personnel attempt to manage crowds during New Year's eve celebrations in Bengaluru on January 1, 2017. Reports of women being molested that night began surfacing almost immediately, evoking strong public criticism on social media.(AFP)

Police have filed an FIR in the alleged Bengaluru mass molestation incident that happened when thousands of revellers had gathered around the junction of Brigade Road and MG Road to usher the New Year on Saturday.

“As promised we have found credible evidence, repeat credible evidence, in a case of wrongful confinement, molestation and attempt to rob (sic),” Bengaluru Police commissioner Praveen Sood said in a series of tweets late on Tuesday.

Read | Bengaluru mass molestation: #NotAllTwitterati impressed by #NotAllMen trend

Social media was flooded with outrage over the incident, with the #Bengalurumolestation hashtag trending on Twitter. Even celebrities weighed in, with actor Aamir Khan saying he was hurt and saddened by the incident and called for swifter justice in such cases.

Here’s what we know so far in the case:

1. Police finally take action

The police filed an FIR in the case two days after reports of the mass molestation surfaced. Meanwhile, much public anger was directed towards the police for alleged delay in filing cases.

2. Police outnumbered by revellers

Even by their own admission, the police have agreed that they were severely outnumbered on the night. While around 1,500 police personnel were deployed near MG Road and Brigade Road, a police officer said on the condition of anonymity that around 50,000 people had come to the area to celebrate.

3. Return of the misogynist politicians

Whether it was Karnataka home minister G Parmeshwara or Samajwadi Party leader Abu Azmi, politicians’ views on the incident kicked up a storm on social media and elsewhere. Parameshwara had sought to play down the incident saying such instances happen everywhere, while Azmi seemed to lay the blame on the victims.

Read | SP’s Abu Azmi blames women in ‘half dress’ after Bengaluru molestation reports

Congress legislator BK Hariprasad too waded in by suggesting that it was the infiltration of the “Hindutva brigade” that was behind such sexual assaults in Bengaluru.

What we don’t know:

1. Why has no victim lodged a complaint?

While no one has come forth to register any complaint, many eyewitnesses have confirmed that mass hooliganism did take place.

Read | Bengaluru molestation incident: Victims, eyewitnesses come forward; but no case yet

One such eyewitness told a news channel that inebriated men went berserk on that day. “There were police personnel but the mob was unrelenting. Many women were groped and attempts were made to strip women,” the eyewitness said.

2. Time to sift through evidence

Police have not given a time frame to finish scanning footage from all the CCTV cameras on the stretch of the road where the alleged incident happened. Police commissioner Sood said footage from 45 CCTV cameras has been looked into. There were reportedly 100 CCTV cameras in the area put up by the police and private establishments.

3. Timing of commissioner’s FIR tweets

Deputy commissioner of police (central) Chandragupta said at around 7pm on Tuesday that police were still some time away from filing an FIR because only 12 policemen were looking through footage from the CCTV cameras. However, by 11pm Sood tweeted saying the police had credible evidence.

4. Nature of evidence received by police

Sood told Hindustan Times that a citizen had come forward to help the police with evidence. However, it is not known if this was a footage captured from the CCTV camera of an establishment or any other evidence captured by an eyewitness to the event.

The police commissioner’s tweet said credible evidence has been found “in a case of wrongful confinement, molestation and attempt to rob”. So, the question arises whether he is corroborating the reported mass molestation.

Read | Bengaluru molestation: Politicians add hype, but where is the evidence?