Woman chases down harasser with help of passers-by

 telegraphindia.com  4/16/2018 8:44:33 PM 

Salt Lake: A 39-year-old man accused of making indecent gestures at a young woman was arrested on Monday after the recipient of his unwanted attention gave chase and caught him with the help of some passers-by.

Amit Yadav, whose roots are in Bihar, was cycling down 7th Cross Road in CJ Block of Salt Lake when he allegedly picked on the woman.

The complainant said she chased the man immediately and alerted whoever was nearby. "We received a call around 3.10pm and sent a patrol to the area. Yadav was picked up from the spot," said Debashis Nath, inspector-in-charge of Bidhannagar (East) police station.

Yadav, a driver by profession employed in Salt Lake, has been booked for "assault or use of criminal force with intent to outrage modesty of a woman". This is a non-bailable offence under Section 354 of the Indian Penal Code and carries a maximum punishment of up to five years in jail along with a fine.

Amit Javalgi, the deputy commissioner (headquarters) of Bidhannagar police, said records were being checked to find out if Yadav had been accused of crimes of a similar nature in the past. He will be produced in a Salt Lake court on Tuesday.

The woman who had been allegedly targeted is a journalist with a newspaper. She narrated to Metro what happened:

After the police van came and took away the culprit from CJ Block, many residents broke into applause. Some people come out of their homes after hearing what had happened and said that it was brave of me to go after the man who had made such vulgar gestures at me. A lady came down and shook my hand. She promised me that the next time she is harassed on the road, she would remember this incident and stand up to the perpetrator.

It took some effort on my part to chase a man on a cycle. But I thought at that moment that I should not let him get away with what he had done. Women invariably have their backs to the wall and the only way to tackle offenders is to fight back.

I have lived in Salt Lake for 20 years and always considered it safe, but today's incident was a reminder that danger is never so far away.

While our city clearly has perverts, it also has citizens who still have a heart. The only reason I could catch the culprit was because of passers-by who believed me and helped corner him.

Since he was on a cycle, he could have easily disappeared into a bylane had it not been for passers-by who heard me scream and nabbed him.

After I caught up with the man, I rang a colleague and she was instrumental in getting the police to arrive in 10 minutes. While waiting for the cops to arrive, I kept asking my tormentor why he did what he did.

He denied making any gesture or saying anything to me. I had had enough. The anger welling up inside me poured out and I told him what I needed to. I said that if harassers aren't punished, they get bolder to commit more heinous crimes. And I told the crowd that most offenders dare commit these crimes because many people choose to look the other way.

We have blamed politicians enough. They don't do their job. But do we? Is our job restricted to venting out anger on social media?

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