Jamshedpur, Dec. 7: Local youths tried to snatch belongings and molest girls from the state who were touring the Dimna Lake here this afternoon.
Five buses packed with tourists, mostly from Bengal, drove into a nightmare with residents going on a snatching and molestation spree. Within a few hours of their arrival for a day in the sun, the visitors packed bags to escape the menace.
This correspondent was in the area around 1.30 pm, when a tourist bus with a West Bengal registration number sped out. Other tourists, who were readying to leave, said a group of local youths made passes and lunged at gold chains and earrings. The boys even attempted to molest one of the girls from Calcutta.
The panic-stricken visitors initially refused to speak. The women tried to stop the men from “wasting time” talking and wanted to flee at the earliest. But Uttam Dey from Calcutta said: “Local boys misbehaved with the girls near the Dimna dam. They were saved because of the timely intervention by the male members of the group.”
Tina Choudhary (name changed), who was part of another group of girls that was harassed, said after much persuasion: “I was relaxing by the reservoir with my friends when some boys came there and started making passes. When we tried to move away, one of them grabbed my hand and tried to molest me. Luckily, some of my relatives heard our cries for help.”
Ganesh Roy, who had gone to the other side of the dam with “four or five friends”, said: “We were lazing before lunch when six or seven men stopped us and one of them reached for my throat. Realising that it was my chain he was after, I struck him hard in the face and ran towards the bus.”
Ranjeet Naskar from North 24-Parganas said: “I was fortunate to have left my valuables in the bus. Two boys came up to me and asked me to hand over the bag I was carrying. Finding nothing expensive in it, they slapped me and took away a pack of cigarettes.” Naskar, who had organised the trip, went around apologising to his friends for “having landed them in such trouble”.
Asked why they hadn’t complained to police, Naskar said: “We are outsiders. Lodging a complaint would prove to be a hassle. Besides, we don’t even know where the police station is. There was no policeman around.”
East Singhbhum superintendent of police Arun Oraon said: “Unless people come to us with complaints, how can we take action against the culprits' It is not possible to provide patrol everywhere.”