Calcutta, Sept. 28: Four men were arrested from Park Street’s Olypub last night for allegedly passing lewd comments at a young woman at another table.
Police said the four had initially complained against the woman smoking in a no-smoking pub but an altercation ensued and ended in a near-assault on her.
The woman in her mid-20s, who works as a relationship executive in a private company in Calcutta, was with a male friend when the altercation started. All the four accused work in a share-trading firm nearby.
“With her male friend getting involved, an altercation started and the situation escalated when the men started passing lewd remarks at the woman,” said an officer of Park Street police station.
The police said the pub alerted them about a brawl. A pub official, however, said none of them had called the police.
“We stop serving drinks after 11pm. The woman and her friend had apparently got engaged in an altercation with four men who were at the next table. The incident happened after we stopped serving drinks and most of our staff, barring the security personnel, had left. We don’t know who called the police,” the official said.
Police officers reached the spot within minutes of the complaint. “If they wanted to protest her smoking in a public place, they (the arrested men) could have either registered their complaint with the pub or informed us directly,” an officer said.
The four — identified as Vijay Tiwari, Anup Sinha, Chandan Dey and Sandip Manna — have been charged with outrage of modesty and criminal intimidation, among other sections.
Sinha is a resident of south Calcutta while the other three are from Howrah.
Olypub is one of Calcutta’s most popular watering holes that serves an almost legendary beefsteak.
The pub is especially popular with youngsters as the rates there suit their pockets.
When smoking was banned at public places in 2008, one of the loudest laments was that “Oly”, as it is fondly called, won’t be the same anymore.
A pub official said tonight that though the management did not allow guests to smoke inside the pub, some relaxation was granted “after 11pm”.
A young professional said the crowd at Park Street eateries appears to be changing. “I have been coming to Park Street for weekend dinners for years with my family and friends. We have neither faced nor heard anyone facing such problems from a co-diner.”