Less than 48 hours after the police nailed a Colaba-based man for flashing at a US national, a 46-year-old unzipped his pants in a moving BEST bus and touched his private parts right next to a college student’s face. The man lost his wallet while trying to escape a beating from fellow commuters and then sauntered into a police station to report the loss the next day, hoping that doing so would divert attention from the crime.
The incident took place on August 21, when the victim was travelling in a bus. The accused, Zakhir Mohammad Jamal Guzariya stood next to the girl, opened the zip of his trousers and began touching his private parts.
The girl screamed and the commuters and conductor thrashed him.
It was good that other commuters and the conductor did make an effort to catch the pervert and give him a thrashing. Too often, we have seen people who do not respond to appeals for help or simply look the other way. This is an attitude that states ‘it is not our problem’ or, ‘we do not want to get involved’. Often, there is a climate of fear, where people fear vengeance from the culprit.
It is heartening that commuters actually got together to teach the pervert a lesson. There is strength in numbers and their unity proves that there a collective mindset that such things will no longer be taken lightly or brushed under the carpet.
Perhaps, there is more awareness and anger these days, now that more complaints are being filed by women.
The fact that ordinary people stood by the young woman, not looking at this incident as a job for the police, or even the driver or conductor, is a good precedent. While there will always be exceptions, these are small signs that some sensitization is taking place and an attitude of zero tolerance for such actions is slowly taking root.
Here is to more people power. This is a message to perverts and flashers who believe they can get away with their actions — that may not be true any longer.