The police filed a cross-FIR against the victim for hitting back at her assailants in defence
Just two months after a Manipuri woman was viciously assaulted in Kalina, Santacruz, another woman from the state residing in the same locality was thrashed, along with a friend, and molested by a gang of three men early on Sunday. To add insult to injury, the police filed a cross-FIR against the woman, who had hit back at her assailants.
The victims are in the Byculla jail, while two of their attackers have been sent to police custody.
The Vakola police said the 25-year-old woman — who resides in Kalina and works in a hotel — and her friend Niggreen Jermick were returning from a birthday party of another friend around 1.30 am on Sunday. While they were waiting for an autorickshaw to get home, three men standing nearby began passing lewd comments at the woman. They also hurled racial slurs at the duo.
When Jermick took them to task over it, the three men allegedly began beating him up. The woman jumped to his rescue, but the men allegedly assaulted and molested her. She escaped from their clutches and rushed to the house of the friend whose birthday party was still on. Three of her friends — Yangmi Shibre (26), David Marza (32) and Aapan Shimre (24) — accompanied her back to the spot. Following a minor scuffle — in which the woman and her three friends from the party hit back at the men — Jermick left with his friend, but the men accosted and assaulted them again. The police was then called to the spot.
Jermick, the woman, their three friends and two of the attackers — Sudarshan Gaikwad (46) and Deepak Gandhelaa (25) — were taken into custody. A third attacker managed to escape.
Based on Jermick’s complaint, an FIR was filed against Gaikwad, Gandhelaa and their aide under sections 452 (house-trespass after preparation for hurt, assault or wrongful restraint), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 506 (criminal intimidation), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace), 354 (outraging a woman’s modesty) and 34 (common intention) of the IPC. The Manipuri woman and her female friends were charged under Section 323 of the IPC.
A police officer said Gaikwad and Gandhelaa were presented in court on Sunday and remanded in two days of police custody. “The hunt for the other accused is on. Based on the complaint of two accused, we filed a case against the woman and her three friends.”
The officer refused to comment on what the Manipuri woman should have, instead, done in defence.
The further victimisation has left Jermick fuming and scared. “This is a horrible situation. My friend was attacked and molested, and now, she is behind bars. We don’t feel safe here. There are regular reports of race attacks in the state against people from the northeast. We are not safe in our own country,” he said.
Not the first time
In March, mid-day reported about a Manipuri woman, who was allegedly assaulted, molested and dragged by her hair in broad daylight on the streets by an unknown person on February 27. The man accosted her and then spat at her, and when she objected, he began to beat her. When she tried to fight him, he molested her and tore off her clothes. However, nobody came forward to help her. After the incident, she called the cops, but by the time they arrived, he fled the scene. When the Kalina resident approached cops at the Vakola police station, they only registered an NC, when she had asked them to file an FIR and shown them her torn clothes. The FIR was registered on March 3, and the alleged molester was detained in Bengaluru a day later.