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Woman accosted twice in heart of city

Calcutta, Aug. 11: A 45-year-old trader has been arrested for molesting a woman on Little Russell Street late on Sunday after he was tracked down on the basis of the getaway vehicle’s number the complainant provided to police.

Vivek Agarwal, a trader who lives in Girish Park, was picked up on Monday night. Records of the motor vehicles department led the police to the suspect’s Swift Dzire.

According to the complaint, Agarwal got out of his car and tried to pull the woman by the hand into the car. He fled when she raised the alarm but returned. However, the suspect took to his heels again when shopkeepers in the area intervened.

After he was arrested, Agarwal was slapped with charges of stalking and outraging the modesty of the woman. He was brought to the Shakespeare Sarani police station, where the complaint had been lodged, and granted bail on a personal risk bond at the police station.

According to the police, the woman, a resident of Howrah, was walking down Little Russell Street when a car slowed down near her and trailed her.

The woman said in her complaint that her husband, who runs an outlet in Metro Plaza, was in Bangkok and she was at the shop.

“She closed the shop at 9.30pm and was walking down Little Russell Street with her son, who studies in Class VII, and a male employee of the shop. They were looking for a taxi when the car slowed down near them and the man got out of the car and started speaking to her,” said a police officer.

Agarwal struck up a conversation, claiming that he had had dinner at her house and asked her if she could recognise him. The woman suspected that he as well as another man at the wheel were drunk.

Agarwal allegedly tried to pull the woman into the car but when she raised the alarm, he got into the car and it moved away.

A few minutes later, unable to get a cab, the woman decided to proceed further down Little Russell Street towards Middleton Street when they saw the car make a U-turn and come back towards them.

Agarwal stepped out of the car but this time the male employee accompanying the woman raised the alarm early and some shopkeepers nearby responded.

The woman pointed out in the complaint there were no police patrols on the entire stretch from Metro Plaza to Shakespeare Sarani police station.