Two teenagers were attacked on Thursday in Ghatakpukur Bazar, South 24-Parganas, as one of them had spurned the advances of a man, police said.
The 17-year-old girl was waiting in front of a photocopy shop with her friend when they were attacked, the police said.
Razzak Mollah, in his late 20s, fled when shopkeepers stepped out hearing her cries for help, the police said.
Both girls were bruised in the face and hands. They were treated at health-care centre in the area.
“Razzak attacked me from behind. He slapped me and raining blows on me when I fell to the ground,” the girl said in her complaint with Bhangar police station.
“When my friend tried to save me, Razzak thrashed her as well.”
There were people in a queue outside the shop but none protested when the girls were attacked, the police said. When they started screaming shopkeepers rushed out of their shops and the man fled.
The shopkeepers told cops that “the girls were shivering in fear” but they persuaded the girl who had been attacked first to file a police complaint.
In her complaint, the girl alleged that Razzak would stalk her when she returned home from tuitions.
“Initially, he proposed to marry her. But the girl turned it down,” an officer quoted her as saying in the complaint.
“He then started passing lewd remarks at her and came up with some indecent proposals as well.” Razzak is absconding, the officer said.
Preliminary investigations revealed Razzak worked as a middleman in the sale of land in the area.
“There is a stretch on the road leading to the girl’s home that remains almost deserted even during the day,” the officer said.
“Razzak would target the girl on this stretch. He threatened her with dire consequence if she reported the matter to the police.”
The girls told cops that his threats left her so scared that she didn’t confide even in her parents, the officer said.
Raids at various places drew a blank. “He has kept his phone switched off. But it is under scanner... the moment he switches it on, we will track him down,” another officer said.
“We have kept a close watch on Razzak’s associates in the area with whom he might contact.”