A girl’s cry sparks blind rage; Oriya youth becomes scapegoat
It was an evening scene playing out with routine regularity on the streets of Kanakapura. Businesses were winding down and people were headed home on Tuesday. Suddenly, the loud cry of a girl rang out. Within minutes the crowd were baying for the blood of the alleged heckler. They pounced on an Oriya youth who was passing by believing him to be the culprit. He was stripped, tied to a tree and brutally assaulted before someone called the police control room and the police arrived on the scene to rescue him.
While the 30-year-old is undergoing treatment at Victoria Hospital, only one person has been arrested for the assault despite scores of people raining blows on him. Ironically, no one has come forward to complain about sexual harassment, perceived or real. On the other hand, there is only one witness to state the assault was triggered by misunderstanding.
With not a single day passing without a sexual harassment or child abuse case making the headlines, the stress seems to be taking a toll on Bengalureans. “People seem to be determined to teach a lesson to those who harass women even if it means taking the law into their hands. This could at times result in such a misunderstanding,” said a police official.
Meanwhile, the incident at Kanakpura was triggered off around 8.15 pm when the victim, Sharath Kumar, was walking near Chunchagattha main road in Kanakapura. The native of Orissa, who has been living in the area for the past 12 years along with his family, is a small-time businessman dealing in plastic. He was walking on the footpath when he spotted a few girls coming from the opposite side. He says it was a little dark and fearing he might bump into one of them, he tried to bend and move out of their way when his hand accidentally touched someone. Sharath says suddenly someone screamed from behind and people started thrashing him.
“Sharath has stated he didn’t do anything. He tried to move away from the group of girls apprehending he might bump into them as the place was already cramped when someone screamed and people started beating him up. His clothes were removed, he was tied to a tree and the assault continued,” DCP, South, Lokesh Kumar said.
Police say around 100 people had gathered and everyone was raring to take a swipe at him, though most were clueless about the reason. While Sharath was being mercilessly thrashed and blood was spurting from the various wounds inflicted on him, two persons alerted the police control room. A team led by J P Nagar police inspector rushed to the spot and rescued Sharath and immediately shifted him to Jayanagar hospital, then to Nimhans and finally to Victoria hospital where he is recovering.
When police started investigating the case, they instantly hit a roadblock. They didn’t get any answers to why Sharath was beaten up.
The mob melted away the instant police arrived and no one was willing to talk.
“We are questioning people and a case has been lodged against those who assaulted him,” DCP Kumar added.
Article Courtesy: Bangalore Mirror