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Metro molester dragged to cops

Complainant’s resolve lauded
Senior police officers appreciated the courage the woman had shown in protesting the harassment and getting the accused arrested

Our Special Correspondent   |   Calcutta   |   Published 03.12.19, 09:13 PM

A Metro passenger dragged a man who allegedly harassed her and got him arrested at Central station on Monday.

The 32-year-old woman said the man, Manoj Dutta, pushed her and took her pictures on his cellphone. She was helped by other passengers in dragging the man off the train.

Senior police officers appreciated the courage the woman had shown in protesting the harassment and getting the accused arrested.

“Even today so many cases go unreported. So many people face various forms of sexual harassment while travelling in an autorickshaw, standing in a crowded bus or travelling in a crowded Metro compartment. How many report the matter?” an officer said.

“Women usually backtrack fearing legal hassles they may face after lodging a complaint. But of late, an increasing number of women are taking on the bullies.”

The police said the woman boarded a Kavi Subhas-bound train at Dum Dum around 5.25pm. The accused boarded the compartment at Belgachhia station.

The woman wrote in her complaint that the man sat beside her despite the seat being reserved for women.

“He had to get up as more women boarded the compartment. While getting up he pushed her inappropriately and stood right in front of her. Then she spotted him taking her pictures on his cellphone,” an officer said.

At this point, the woman shouted in protest.

Her screams alerted other passengers, some of whom snatched the man’s cellphone.

The woman, helped by other passengers, dragged the man off the train at Central station and handed him over to the Metro Railway police. The cops took the man to the station master’s room.

The station manager alerted Bowbazar police station, from where a team arrived at the Metro station. The woman accompanied the cops to the police station and filed a complaint.

A case under IPC sections related to outrage of modesty, stalking, outrage of modesty of a woman by words and gestures and voluntarily causing hurt has been started against Dutta, a resident of Belgachhia.

If convicted, Dutta can be imprisoned for five years.

Calcutta police commissioner Anuj Sharma said his force was “extremely serious” about women safety.

“We have planned CCTV coverage of strategic points near schools, colleges and transport intersections for safety of girls and women. Extensive sensitisation programmes like ‘Respect Women’ are being carried out in boys and co-education schools. We have planned to set up mobile toilets for women near markets and in busy localities,” Sharma told Metro.

A “sophisticated” cyber crime investigation laboratory is being planned for better detection and investigation of cyber crimes against women.

Calcutta police had recently organised a self-defence course named Tejashwini to train women in countering attacks — in a public place or at home. At the end of this year’s course last Wednesday, police commissioner Sharma had announced that the programme would be held every three months, instead of once a year.


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