On New Year's Eve, Bengaluru proved it is no better than Delhi, or any other city when it comes to safety of women.
Several women alleged that they were molested as thousands of revellers poured out on to Bengaluru's famous MG Road, close to midnight. Meanwhile, Home Minister G Parameshwara, instead of addressing the problem, blamed young people for trying to "copy" western mindsets and clothing.
Several women have come forward to narrate their experiences. One was photographer Chaitali Wasnick.
At 2:44 am, Wasnick took to Facebook to write about the ordeal she faced.
The 24-year-old, who works as a photographer at Vapour Pub and Brewery, was trying to find a cab to get back home to Old Madras Road from Indiranagar. "It was 1:30 am, but there were cops around, so I didn't feel unsafe," she told HuffPost India.
On Saturday night, the same night when a 'mass molestation' took place just 20 minutes away from where she worked, a man had tried to grope her. "With so much ease he did [it], as if he thought I'll not utter a word," she said. However, the attacker clearly didn't see what was coming.
Wasnick said that she "punched and kicked" him "till he couldn't take the pain."
"There were 10 to 15 people watching this. They didn't tell the guy anything. But they kept trying to stop me from beating him up," she said.
The cops, who were present at the scene, did not intervene at all. Eventually, the man ran away.
"It was because of those people that he managed to escape. No one came forward to help me," she recalled.
This is her Facebook post:
Wasnick said that she has often felt unsafe in Bengaluru in the last two years that she has lived there.
"I usually work late hours, and when I leave from work, I rarely find cops on the road," she said.
Wasnick also said that the Bengaluru police often 'misbehave' with women, and are not very 'efficient'. "They are rude and they misbehave. They don't pay attention when an outsider (who's not from Bangalore) go and complain," she alleged.
A woman who was present on MG road that night told NDTV that the situation was "almost a stampede" and said she saw "girls crying and shouting for help." The witnesses told told the TV channel that some women took off their shoes to fend off the attackers.
The Bangalore Mirror published pictures of a woman pressed in by a crowd of men and said its photojournalists were "first-hand witnesses to the brazen, mass molestation of women" on the city's streets.
"I saw women being molested in the crowd and people trying to find places where they could hide themselves and not be attacked," a witness told The Guardian.
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