Women molested on New Year eve in Bengaluru, minister blames ‘western ways’

Eyewitness accounts suggest that women were molested and groped and lewd remarks were also passed by miscreants late night on December 31.

By: PTI | Bengaluru | Published: January 2, 2017 7:48 pm
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New Year revelry turned into a nightmare for several women who were allegedly molested despite huge police presence at a large gathering in city’s downtown region, drawing widespread outrage even as the state Home minister stoked a controversy by blaming the youngsters’ “western ways” for the incidents. National Commission for Women (NCW) chairperson Lalitha Kumaramangalam came down heavily on the police and slammed home minister G Parameshwara’s remarks, demanding that he should resign. The NCW as well as the Karnataka State Commission for Women also sought separate reports from administration and police over the incidents.

Watch: Such Incidents Do Happen, Says Karnataka Home Minister On Bengaluru Mass Molestation Incident

Police today said they were looking for the culprits involved in the alleged incidents on Saturday night in and around the junction of Brigade Road and M G Road, where thousands had gathered to herald the New Year.

Eyewitness accounts suggest that women were molested and groped and lewd remarks were also passed by miscreants late night on December 31 in the posh area even as it was claimed that 1,500 police personnel had been deployed to control the crowds.

While women without any male companions had to seek protection from women police personnel, who were very few in number on the spot, men who had come with female friends had a tough time protecting them, according to eyewitnesses.

Speaking to reporters, Home Minister G Parameshwara said “It is not good. Definitely we will look into it and see that it is not repeated.”

“There was need to look into how such events can be organised and regulated… We cannot have 10,000 police men,” he said.

Speaking to a TV news channel, he said: “Unfortunately, what is happening is as I said days like new year Brigade Road, Commercial Street, M G Road, large number of youngsters gather. Youngsters who are almost like westerners, they try to copy the westerners not only in the mindset, but even the dressing.”

The minister’s remarks drew an angry response from the NCW chairperson who demanded the Home Minister should resign and apologise to the women of the country for making such remarks.

“Such remarks from the Home Minister are unacceptable and regrettable. I want to ask this Minister that are Indian men so pathetic and weak that when they see a woman in western clothes on a day of revelry, they get out of control?

“When will they Indian men learn to respect women. The minister should apologise to the women of the country and resign,” Kumaramangalam said.

Police claimed that thay had made elaborate security arrangements for the New Year eve with 1,500 policemen on duty and several CCTV cameras installed, besides Karnataka State Reserve Police, City Armed Reserve and watch towers erected to keep a close watch.

Police at the spot were apparently outnumbered to control the miscreants.

“We will try to identify the culprits and take action against them,” Karnataka DGP Om Prakash said.

Police said they had not received any complaints of molestation from anyone.

NCW chairperson Lalitha Kumaramangalam said, “We are absolutely appalled (with the incident)… We have taken suo motu cognisance on it and have sent off the same to the home minister, the head of the police, chief secretary.”

“We want a reply immediately and if the reply is unsatisfactory, we will send a team to find out why the police has not suo motu taken cognisance of the incident,” she said.

“I am told that they haven’t even looked at the footage they may have from cameras etc and the possibility that they are using the fact that nobody has made an official complaint as an excuse, cannot be ruled out,” she said.

Meanwhile, Karnataka Commission for Women Chairperson Nagalakshmi Bai told PTI, “I have taken cognisance of the reported incident. I have sought a report from police. After getting the report, I will take further action,”

Police had extended the deadline allowing restaurants, bars and pubs to remain open till 2 AM on New Year’s eve.

They had issued strict warnings to mischief-mongers besides asserting that adequate security arrangements had been made ahead of New Year’s eve.

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  1. A
    Jan 2, 2017 at 3:06 pm
    I keep wondering what kind of image we send out to other nations, East or West?!!
    1. A
      Jan 2, 2017 at 4:55 pm
      Shame. Where is shri ram sena....they go beat womn n girls in the bars pubs parks...why can't they protect now. Very sad for girls. Fking cowards.
      1. G
        Gudla Deepak
        Jan 3, 2017 at 6:36 am
        I think the politicians of the state has made an elaborate plan to control and guide the culture and the society in their own imagination. First they allowed the revelry and new year celebration to happen until 2 am and then inserted their own party workers disguised as mischief mongers to become the part of the celebration crowd and spoil the w event by groping and molesting women in m so that it will become a big issue and then they will get the chance to ban all such events and celebrations in the state in the name of controlling and putting stop on such crimes. Our politicians are much more intelligent then the politicians of the United States. They know to how to turn the situation in their favor. It helps them in having power and controlling people with modern values by injecting fear in them about such crimes.
        1. O
          oneand onlyhuman
          Jan 4, 2017 at 1:11 pm
          western ? . how old r u mr.MP and the guys who messed up ? r u a kids to get spoiled ...if you say u r an adult then u must be certainly an .. don't blame others for your ic behaviour..
          1. M
            Jan 2, 2017 at 4:43 pm
            Shame on the young Indians in Bangalore who do such acts as nothing but some spoiled west imitators who don't really understand west. I am an Indian living in USA for 47 years, haven't ever seen such uncivilized behavior of insulting our lady sisters. Th west may not be the best but they don't behave and insult people in such a way. However, I do caution my sisters to always be careful and dress modestly and not make the guys make more crazy than they already are. We always think good things about India and its good culture of respect for all people, and especially ladies.
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