Road Romeos are threatening to rob the Victoria Memorial greens of their early morning charm and their late-evening romance. Eve-teasing reared its ugly head on the Memorial premises early on Thursday, with the arrest of three youths caught in the act of passing lewd comments and making vulgar gestures at a morning-walker.
Policemen in plainclothes, deployed at the Memorial to curb rising incidents of teasing and snatching, zeroed in on the two youths teasing a girl. As the cops stopped the duo for questioning, a third man, in his 20s, arrived on the spot. He claimed to know “senior police officers” and urged the cops to release his friends immediately.
“We have arrested all three. Two of them, Sheikh Siraj and Sheikh Aslam, have been booked for eve-teasing, while the third, Mohammed Ekram Hussein, has been arrested on charges of causing obstruction to policemen on duty,” said Nanda Dulal Paul, officer-in-charge, Hastings police station.
According to Paul, the incident occurred around 6.30 am, when 20-year-old Anjali (name changed on request) and her mother, residents of Hungerford Street, in the Shakespeare Sarani police station area, were out on a morning walk.
“As soon as Anjali and her mother entered the Memorial grounds, Siraj and Aslam started stalking her silently. As soon as the girl reached a comparatively secluded spot, the duo swung into action,” said Paul.
They started passing lewd comments and making obscene gestures.
Anjali, police later said, was too scared to raise an alarm. But luckily for her, Siraj and Aslam’s actions caught the eye of two plain-clothed cops. As they approached the duo, Anjali mistook them for morning-walkers and shouted out to them to call in the cops. “The two constables revealed their identities and assured Anjali they would deal with the duo,” said Paul.
Ekram then appeared on the scene and told the cops that this was a “minor incident” and that they should let his friends go. When the policemen refused to comply, Ekram shouted: “I know your bosses in Lalbazar headquarters. Release them immediately. Otherwise, you will be transferred within 24 hours.”
The constables contacted OC Paul, who directed them to arrest the trio.
Siraj and Aslam are residents of Golam Jilani Khan Road, while Ekram lives in Royd Lane.
“Last month, three women were picked up from the Memorial premises while snatching the wallet of a Sri Lankan tourist. We will intensify our vigil further,” assured OC Paul.