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Woman groped in Elante mall parking lot in Chandigarh

The victim said the accused came running and grabbed her from the back when she was entering the first-floor parking. It was only after she screamed and jostled with the attacker that he ran away.

punjab Updated: Sep 30, 2018 20:39 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Elante mall,Chandigarh,groped
The crime took place in mall’s ‘Pink Parking’ area, where only women are allowed to park their vehicles.(HT Photo)

Even 48 hours after a man outraged the modesty of a woman in the basement parking of Elante mall , the police is still clueless about the identity of the accused.

A 27-year-old woman, a resident of Sector 32, who works in one of the stores at the mall, alleged that a man outraged her modesty at the parking meant exclusively for women when she was walking towards her car after finishing her shift at around 9.46 pm. The victim told the police that the accused had not only grabbed her but also touched her inappropriately and even tried to disrobe her.

Elante was the first mall in city that had introduced the concept of Pink Parking — a dedicated parking space for women.

In her complaint, the victim said the accused came running and grabbed her from the back when she was entering the first-floor parking. It was only after she screamed and jostled with the attacker that he ran away.

A cop privy to the investigation said the footage of the CCTV cameras installed in the parking is of poor resolution and it is difficult to identify the accused. “The cameras in the area where the incident took place were not working in the wake of ongoing construction,” said a police official on condition of anonymity.

Police said the area where the incident took place has been closed but the victim could enter it being a staff member.

A case under sections 354 (Criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) and 354-A (sexual harassment ) of the IPC has been registered at the Industrial Area police station has been registered against the unidentified accused.

“We are scanning the footage of the CCTV cameras to identify the accused. The SHO concerned has also been directed to hold a meeting with the management of mall to ensure proper security,” said Pawan Kumar, DSP (public relations), Chandigarh Police.

A spokesperson of Elante mall said, “She was working in one of the stores and is not an employee of Elante. After her shift got over, she entered an area which was closed for renovation where the incident took place. After the incident, she informed her manager after which a police complaint was lodged.”

Women under attack:

August 10, 2018

Two men had taken away a car at gunpoint from outside Elante mall this year and the accused were arrested from Samrala on September 22. Victim Nidhi Vilkhu, 37, a homemaker and a resident of Sector 19, had arrived at the mall with her friend when the carjackers struck outside the mall’s gate number 3 around 8 pm. Even in this case the CCTV camera footage obtained by the police from the mall was grainy.

July 2016

A 25-year-old Jalandhar resident was arrested for sexually harassing a Sector 37 woman at the Fun City block of the mall. The father informed the guard and the youth was overpowered, before the police reached the spot. The CCTV camera footage revealed that the accused had harassed three more girls that day.

First Published: Sep 30, 2018 10:19 IST