Protests are fast gathering in the cyber space to show solidarity with the Park Street rape victim after she was allegedly denied entry at a city restaurant on Saturday.
The 39-year-old, who was gang raped by five men in a moving car on Park Street in February 2012, alleged that the management at Ginger restaurant in Hazra, South Kolkata had denied her entry, “The restaurant manager said ‘you are the Park Street rape victim’ and cannot be allowed entry”. “He said I could do anything on earth barring entering the restaurant. I was humiliated for over an hour,” she added. “The rude manager brazenly challenged me and added that I could even report his name,” read a Facebook post by the victim.
On Monday, the woman lodged a complaint against the authorities of the restaurant at the Kalighat police station. The FIR mentions IPC sections 341 (wrongful restraint), 354 (assault or criminal force against a woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 114 (abettor present when offence is committed).
Restaurant authorities said the woman had been refused entry as she did not pay bills on her earlier visits. Owner Dipten Banerjee claimed that no one from the restaurant had referred to her as the ‘Park Street rape victim’. “We have the CCTV footage,” he said.
Support for the victim has been flowing in on social media calling for protests outside the restaurant, with some demanding immediate closure of the restaurant. Facebook events like ‘Kolkata action heroes report to duty: In solidarity with (the name of the victim)’ and ‘Boycott restaurant’ and Twitter hashtags like #BoycottGingerRestaurant and #StandWithTheVictim are also doing the rounds.
“If the Kolkata restaurant denied the victim entry for being the ‘Park Street Rape Survivor’- it should lose its license,” tweeted journalist Barkha Dutt.