On Saturday afternoon, 20-year-old Raju Kalal molested a 22-year-old British tourist outside the Veer Kotwal garden at Dadar. The woman alleged that Kalal groped her before getting into fisticuffs with her friend, Jamie Pugh (name changed), whom he subsequently attacked with a knife. The woman registered a complaint of sexual assault at Shivaji Park police station.
Victoria Smith (name changed to protect identity) and Pugh were taking photographs outside the garden when they saw the accused running towards them. He pushed Smith and groped her. After he attacked Pugh, passersby stepped in and soon, two policemen arrived on the scene and nabbed Kalal. Smith and Pugh were residing at Prabhadevi during their trip to the city.
“ The accused pushed the girl and touched her when she and her friend were clicking pictures near Veer Kotwal garden. When the boy hit the accused, the latter brandished a knife and hurt the friend with it. The boy was bleeding from the thumb,” explained Sriram Vilas Lad, an eyewitness.
The eyewitness and the hawaldar took the couple to Shivaji Park Police station.
Later, the boy was taken to a nearby clinic for first aid. “ Kalal molested my friend and was handed over to the police. A police official asked us whether we wanted to take Kalal to court because, otherwise, he would be left the day after. But we had a flight to catch a few hours after the incident and did not have the time to carry out the formalities,” said Pugh.
Shockingly, the police claims that according to eyewitness accounts and Pugh’s statement, Kalal “ did not have any wrong intentions” and was trying to rob Smith. Senior police inspector at Shivaji Park police station, Parshuram Kakkad, said, “ The girl’s friend did not tell us about any inappropriate behaviour on Kalal’s part. All we know is that he tried to steal something from the girl and attacked her friend with a knife. We have charged him under IPC section 323 and 504 and have sent him for a medical test to check if he was under the influence of alcohol. We will proceed accordingly.”