ON THE day the Bengaluru police arrested four men seen groping and assaulting a woman on New Year’s eve in a CCTV footage, images of a similar incident has emerged in Delhi. According to police, two men molested a woman on a motorcycle, pulling her off the vehicle she was riding pillion on and then attacked the policemen who tried to stop the assault.
The incident took place at 11.20 pm on December 31 when a group of policemen on patrol in Mukherjee Nagar saw two boys — one in a “blue shirt” and another in a “yellow shirt” — accost an unidentified woman who was riding pillion on a motorbike with a man. Police have recovered CCTV and mobile phone footage that show the mob and the two suspects.
Though the woman has not filed a complaint, police have registered a case of molestation and rioting and detained at least 24 men, mostly students.
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The CCTV footage first shows the lane where the incident occurred, and the victim and her friend on the motorcycle. A few seconds later, a mob is seen running in the opposite direction as police chase them. Another video, shot on a mobile phone, shows several young men shouting and dancing on the street, footpath and divider. Police believe some of the men in the mobile footage were part of the mob that later attacked the police outpost.
Police sources said they intervened when two men attempted to pull the woman off the bike. “The officers were taking the two men to the Batra police post when they were surrounded by a mob. During this time, the woman and her friend drove away as they were scared of the mob building up,” said a senior police officer who was on duty at the time.
By midnight, police officers said, the mob swelled and attacked the Batra police post with stones, injuring several of the personnel and damaging the building.
“They immediately called their friends to the Batra Cinema police post and were shouting and carrying stones…They started to pelt stones at the police post,” said the FIR lodged on the complaint of one of the policemen. “The mob also took away the two suspects from the police post,” the FIR said.
Shiv (48), who manages the counter at a food stall near the police post, said he and his coworkers “closed the shop and hid” when the stone pelting started.
“We were serving food to customers when we heard shouts. Suddenly, a lot of people surrounded the police chowki. Our customers also started running. We closed the shutters and hid inside till the police knocked on the door about an hour later,” he said.
“We were standing in the balcony when we saw a huge group of boys start attacking policemen and throwing stones. My son called police and we all rushed back inside the house. Some boys have created a ruckus here in the past. This is not the first time they started a fight with police,” said a 60-year-old, who lives near the police post.