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Tease, torture numb lodge neighbourhood

Scare and helplessness gripped Sodhi Tola residents in Mahendru on Monday, a day after a group of students teased a girl and then used muscle power to silence those who dared to protest.

Around 50 students of Patna University attacked and thrashed residents for opposing the teasing incident on Sunday night. Three persons have been arrested.

The panic among the residents was palpable on Thursday morning. An eerie silence prevailed in the otherwise noisy streets of the area.

When The Telegraph visited the locality on Monday, the residents refused to open doors and speak. After much persuasion, a few narrated the ordeal requesting anonymity.

“At 10.30pm on Sunday, five drunk students staying at Aashirwad Lodge, located at the corner of the Sodhi Tola lane, abused and passed lewd comments at a girl. Parents accompanying the girl opposed and threatened them with dire consequences. The students did not react at that point of time because several residents where outside their houses then,” said an eyewitness.

He added: “At 12.30am, the teasers returned to the colony with around 50 students from Minto and Jackson hostels (under Patna University). Most of them were carrying hockey sticks and iron rods. First, they attacked the girl’s house and then beat up anyone whom they came across. They were behaving like animals. Most people locked themselves inside their houses.”

The eyewitness said the rowdy students dragged a few residents and abused women and children. “It was a nightmare for us,” the person said.

Another resident said: “We could not sleep the entire night. I could not even send my child to school on Monday. Even he was awake till 3am. Eve-teasing is not new in this area but students attacked the houses for the first time on Sunday night. What will happen if the arrested students come here again to stay in the same lodge?”

As Patna University (PU) is around 1km from Sodhi Tola, there are 10-12 lodges in the area. Mostly, PU students stay there. Residents of Sodhi Tola said lewd comments at girls were nothing new in the area.

“Passing lewd comments, showing vulgar signs and abusing girls became a regular feature in the neighbourhood after the lodges came up in the residential area. It is now an everyday practice. Every evening, around 5-10 students get drunk and assemble at the corner of the lane. Then their antics start and continue till late hours,” another resident said.

An elderly woman residing for years in the area said: “Zyada puch taach mat karo, woh log tumhe bhi nahin chorenge (Do not enquire so much. If they see you, they will beat you up as well). Many a times we have lodged complaints at the Pirbahore police station but nothing has happened. It seems even the police are scared of the students.”

Two persons, who have suffered injuries in the late-night mayhem, are undergoing treatment at Patna Medical College and Hospital. Both of them are shop owners. Their family members were not available for comments.

When contacted, the warden of Minto and Jackson hostels, Randhir Kumar Singh, said: “So far, nobody has complained to us that our hostel inmates were involved in the rampage. The allegations are wrong.”


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