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Threat of rape at doorstep

- Terror and trauma stalk two women, one molested in front of husband & another nearly ‘taught a lesson’

A young mother was molested in front of her husband near their house at the Rifle Range Road-Broad Street crossing last Sunday night. Two days later, she and her family were hounded to drop the case. Karaya police arrested Mohammad Chhottu on Thursday afternoon from the Rifle Range Road area. He is allegedly one of the three men with prime accused Mohammed Sajid who hounded the victim on Sunday night. The traumatised woman is so scared that she won’t step out of home alone. She recounts her ordeal to Metro.

I was molested a few metres from my house when I was returning from my parent’s home around 9.45pm on Sunday. My husband and I had got down from the autorickshaw and crossed the road when four men approached us and started passing lewd remarks.

When my husband objected, they brazenly said I would be raped in front of him and continued hurling obscenities at me. Suddenly one of them molested me.

All along my husband was protesting and trying to protect me, but the hoodlums overpowered him… punched and scratched him and pinned him to a tree. My father-in-law noticed the commotion from a nearby teashop and came running with people in the neighbourhood. Before they could reach, the cowards fled.

I was too shocked to react. It happened in my own para where I have been living for the past eight years. It was around 10pm and roads were not deserted either. There were people at the eatery close to our house. Yet, four men dared to molest and assault me.

I do travel alone, take my son to tuition and cricket coaching. There have been occasions when I had returned home at 11pm. But this incident has completely shaken me. I don’t know when I will be able to gather the courage to step out of my home, alone.

Soon after the incident, my father-in-law called the Lalbazar control room and one of the molesters, Mohd Sajid, was arrested that very night.

On December 31, a group of 15-20 men accosted my husband and brother-in-law and threatened them to withdraw the complaint. My husband and his brother were chatting near our gate around 11pm when a man from the group slapped him.

Tum logon ko jo karna tha kar liya, ab hum logon ko jo karna hai hum karenge (You have done what you had to, now we will do what we have to),” they said and hurled threats of murder.

My father-in-law reported the threats to Karaya police station. Since it was New Year’s Eve, the police bandobast was tight and there was a cop posted outside our house as well.

That, however, doesn’t guarantee my safety and that of my son, my husband and our extended family.

My mother has advised me to stay put at home and asked my husband to always keep an eye open.

My son has cricket coaching in Gariahat three days a week. My mother-in-law insists that she will take him while I stay at home.

My son is five and he too has been told to never step out alone or speak to strangers. If those people could come to our doorstep and threaten my husband, they could easily target our son. Since ours is a joint family, there are four other children in the house — aged between four and 10. I fear for their safety too.

How long shall I stay in self-imposed house arrest out of fear while my tormentors roam freely and their friends come to my home to make audacious threats?