Women harassed in Odisha, but police ‘question’ victims

A woman, in her Facebook post, said a group of youngsters harassed and abused her and friends.

india Updated: Jan 13, 2017 13:39 IST

New Delhi

In yet another case of crime against women, a woman in Bhubaneswar has accused a group of youngsters of harassing her and friends and thrashing a male friend in the city on Friday.

In her Facebook post, the woman, a BCom student in a women’s university, also accused the police, who arrived late because “they ran out of fuel”, of not taking relevant action and instead, “questioning their integrity”.

Police, however, dismissed the allegations and said they are hunting for the accused.

The incident comes days after mass molestation of a large number of women was reported in Bengaluru on New Year eve, sending shockwaves across the nation.

The woman said the youngsters showed the dirty gestures and passed lewd comments near Nandakanan road in Bhubaneswar. Her male friend asked them to stop doing so, but they followed them and continued to abuse the women.

A few miles later, the group stopped them and started to create a scene. When the women phoned the nearest Police Control Room, the miscreants called up their friends, who joined them in abusing them and threatening the women of dire consequences.

They also thrashed the male friend, slapped one of the women and snatched her mobile phone.

“The saddest part is that there was a gathering of around 30 male people but not a single man stood up,” she said in her post, adding, they should be ashamed of calling themselves men.

One of the men in the crowd also asked the girls to stop creating a scene. “You are girls, why (are you) raising (your) voice? Go home, things will settle. Stop creating a scene; know your limits. You are supposed to be home at this hour.”

“Like seriously? Afternoon time, three girls with full-sleeved clothes, faces covered, face worst eve teasing and the society still blame girls? Is it the fault of our womanhood??” she said in her post.

“The police were not helpful, either,” the woman said, noting that they came 40 minutes after being called when the police station was just 2 minutes away. When asked, they said the PCR vans had no petrol, and told the girls to question the government regarding this.

The police then questioned the girls as to why they were taking the route and what relation they had with their male friend.

She vented out her anger against cops for “questioning their integrity” and alleged that the police refused to file a complaint until the parents of the women reached the police station.

Bhubaneswar deputy commissioner of police Satyabrata Bhoi, however, denied the allegations and said the accused had been identified and a search was on to arrest them.

He clarified that the PCR van had reached the spot in 15 minutes after getting the call.

Concluding her post, the woman asked other women to stay alert and learn self-defence.

“The world is full of selfish men like these. The so-called society for whom we girls always have to face consequences, sacrifice, and compromise, won’t ever stand for us! We are no less than any man, just believe in you. Be proud of your womanhood,” she said.

First Published: Jan 13, 2017 13:37 IST