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Home / Kolkata / Woman alleges moral policing in Kolkata again, this time for smoking

Woman alleges moral policing in Kolkata again, this time for smoking

The incident comes close on the heels of the thrashing of a couple who were allegedly standing close in the city’s metro earlier in the week.

kolkata Updated: May 05, 2018 07:55 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Kolkata
The woman said a man abused her for smoking and tried to snatch her cigarette.
The woman said a man abused her for smoking and tried to snatch her cigarette. (AFP File/Representative image)

In yet another incident of moral policing in Kolkata, a 23-year-old university student on Friday alleged that she was molested and heckled and verbally abused by a middle-aged person who objected to her smoking a cigarette on the streets with one of her friends.

The incident comes close on the heels of the thrashing of a couple who were allegedly standing close in the city’s metro earlier in the week. The viral photos of the thrashing created loud protest on social media.

The post-graduate student of Jadavpur University filed a complaint with the police.

The incident in metro took place on April 30. Groups of men and women demonstrated outside Tollygunge and Dumdum metro stations. Some even offered hugs to the passengers at Dumdum station to protest against the assault of the couple and the moral policing by a few passengers.

“I handed over the man to Netaji Nagar police station on Thursday night. He was put inside the lock-up,” the student said on Friday.

However, the officers of the police station denied any such incident taking place. Deputy commissioner (south suburban division) of Kolkata Police, Santosh Nimbalkar, did not take calls and did not respond to text messages.

“It is strange. The accused was sent to the lock-up in front of my eyes after I filed the complaint. But I did not check with the police station what they did to him. I am yet to decide on my next course of action,” she said.

People protest against moral policing at Tollygunge metro station in Kolkata.
People protest against moral policing at Tollygunge metro station in Kolkata. ( Samir Jana/HT File Photo )

Narrating the incident, the woman said around 10pm on Thursday she was waiting for an auto rickshaw at Netaji Nagar auto stand. She had a cigarette between her fingers.

“Suddenly, this man walked up to me and started abusing me. He said that we should be ashamed of smoking in public. He also tried to snatch my cigarette. We tried to ignore him and boarded an auto. He also jumped into it and kept abusing us throughout the journey using filthy language,” she said.

“When we reached near Bagha Jatin auto stand (about 2.5-3 km away), the auto rickshaw driver stopped near a mobile police vehicle. By then, the man started assaulting and molesting me. Fortunately, the police came quickly and took hold of the man,” she added.

The woman went to the police station and filed the complaint, a copy of which is with HT.