A 32-year old Mumbai-based TV employee who was molested by a fish seller in Howrah on Monday night, made frantic calls to the much-advertised Kolkata police helpline during the attack, but to no avail.
“I dialed 100 several times. The first time somebody did pick up the phone, but there was no sound after that. The phone simply went ringing in the subsequent calls,” the woman who spent her childhood in Kolkata, but later migrated to Mumbai told HT on Wednesday.
It was around 11.30 pm when the woman, her father and two friends headed towards a food joint near the Howrah station to pick up their dinner. When her friend Subrata Ghosh parked his car near the food joint – nearly 300 metres from the Howrah station – one Ratan Kumar Sahu approached the car. Sahu, 36, is a local small time fish trader.
Subrata Ghosh is a resident of Belur in the same district.
Sahu staggered towards the car, leaned through the window and tried to drag the woman out. She immediately tried to shut the window but Ratan resisted. The woman then alighted from the car to confront the attacker.
Meanwhile, her father and Subrato came out to help. But Ratan shoved the woman’s 72-year old father away, and slapped Subrato. The woman took off her shoes and started hitting Ratan on the head.
“Meanwhile a group of 6-7 locals came out and joined in. Realizing that the situation was out of control, we tried to flee. But they blocked the road. There were no police to help and our calls to 100 went unanswered. This is when a young man came to help us, resisting Ratan and one of his friends. This helped us to make a getaway and we sped away towards the police station,” the woman recollected.