Bengaluru moved into 2017 with horrific incidents of molestation marring its New Year’s eve celebrations. According to a Bangalore Mirror report, the city’s most bustling areas of MG Road and Brigade road saw thousands of men mobbing the revellers, and groping and trash talking the women in the streets on Saturday night even as a large number of policemen were deployed in the area.
Even though the New Year crowd in the city is always unruly, the deadline for celebrations this time were extended till 2 am this year, reportedly under pressure from some of the commercial establishments, especially the drinking joints in the central division.
Bengaluru police had earlier said that all of their forces will be patrolling the city to ensure incident-free celebrations. Even though 1,500 policemen were positioned in the area, unruly men on bikes, cars and on foot, far outnumbered them. The policemen largely remained a spectator and intervened only intermittently as men went about their hooliganism. Some women, according to the report, had to take off their stilettos and run for help.
Significantly, police said there has been no official cases of molestation and harassment registered with them despite several eyewitness accounts and photographic evidence. The police admitted to helping out women in distress who reached out to them, but denied getting any calls complaining of molestation. But some of the police personnel on duty narrated stories of chasing away men trying to take advantage of women.
The traffic plans for the day also did not work either. According to The New Indian Express, city traffic police booked around 400 cases of drunk driving, even as there were complaints that traffic cops were lenient with motorists, many of them under the influence of alcohol, rode bikes recklessly.