Three young girls were taking a stroll on Saturday evening through a near-deserted, dimly-lit street in Salt Lake. When they reached the local park, four youths ground their two motorcycles to a halt by their side. Two of them offered lifts to the girls. The mask of politeness dropped when the girls declined. One of the men grabbed one of the girls and tried to pull her on to the bike. The girls’ shouts attracted the attention of some people, who came rushing. The youths fled.
Alarmed at the recurrence of such incidents, the Salt Lake police are planning major drives against Road Romeos once the panchayat polls are over, Ajay Nand, additional superintendent of police, Salt Lake, said on Sunday. He added that last week, around five eve-teasers were rounded up during a drive.
Police said although these Road Romeos do not operate in any particular area, they like to hang around on the lookout for “prey” near the swimming pool, Kwality and other bus stops.
“During weekends, we see many unknown youths in cars and on two-wheelers near the swimming pool,” said Sabyasachi Dutta, Trinamul Congress councillor of ward 10, where the pool is situated. “They offer lifts to women who throng the pool in the evening,” Dutta added.
Local residents said the police have been urged to control illegal parking in the area, which will curb the crime. But police have taken no action.
“The road Romeos do not dare to operate at hotspots, like Nicco Park or Nalban, they choose the comparatively-deserted streets and bylanes of the township,” police said.
“Patrolling in the evening has brought down the incidence of eve-teasing considerably and we have arrested nearly 15 eve-teasers this year in different drives,” police said.