Illustration/ Ravi Jadhav
A young woman from Kalyan led the way in women's empowerment when she displayed grit and refused to cower before a pervert she encountered. The 20-year-old confronted a youth secretly filming her at Bandra station on Saturday afternoon, and took him to the police station to get him arrested. A check of his cellphone revealed seven videos of women taken at stations across the city.
The incident happened on platform number one of Bandra station, when the girl and her friend were standing there talking before heading home to Kalyan. That's when she noticed a youth hiding behind a drinking water dispensing machine with a cellphone in hand and the camera facing her.
Speaking to mid-day, she said, "My friend and I were standing there talking when I noticed this man with his mobile phone facing me. He kept switching his eyes between me and his phone screen. At first, I ignored it, but when it hadn't stopped even after several minutes, I walked up to him and asked him what he was doing. Without saying anything he turned and started to walk away, trying to escape. But I caught hold of him and demanded to see his phone. He refused and started arguing with me. I didn't loosen my grip on him and threatened to take him to the police. That's when a woman constable arrived on the scene, and together, we took him to the police station."
Accused Asif Abdul Khan
Right on time
While the commotion was going on, Bandra Government Railway Police (GRP) constable Megha Mulik, who was patrolling on the platform, reached the spot and questioned the accused. He refused to hand over his phone to Mulik as well, saying he hadn't done anything and had just been waiting for a train, but the constable didn't buy his story, and both she and the girl took him to the police station.
Senior inspector of Bandra GRP Sunil Tondwalkar said, "Even after he was brought to the police station, he refused to show his cellphone, which was locked with a password. We managed to scare him enough finally to give us the password. On unlocking it and going through its contents, we found a video of the girl as well as other women, after which we arrested him."
The spot at Bandra station where he was caught in the act
A serial stalker
The accused has been identified as Asif Abdul Khan (21), a resident of Kandivli. Investigation revealed that he worked as a salesman in a company.
Sources said the police, after going through his video gallery, found as many as seven videos of different women filmed at different railway stations, all of which appeared to be on the Western Railway. The police have arrested him and are in the process of sending his phone for forensic analysis.
An officer said, "We will identify the other women and approach them to know if they want to file an official complaint against the accused."
"The accused has been booked under section 354 (D) (2) (outraging a woman's modesty) of the Indian Penal Code. He was produced in court on Sunday, which sent him to judicial custody," said DCP of Western Railway GRP Purushottam Karad.
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