One wonders, would rider have kicked a male?

Updated: Jan 11, 2020, 07:43 IST | The Editorial | Mumbai

There is no doubt that this incident had totally shaken the girl and affected her emotionally

Representation pic
Representation pic

The incident involving a bike rider kicking a 16-year-old girl on her bottom because he was angry at someone else is outrageous and the young man deserves the strictest punishment. A 24-year-old Dharavi resident, Kumaran Annadurai Pallan, was caught on January 6 — close to two months after the episode when the police recognised him by his 'marvel' t-shirt, which he was wearing on the day he assaulted the minor.

The culprit even admitted to kicking the girl, who was returning home after her evening walk in a garden near Hinduja hospital. Pallan told the police that moments ago he had a heated argument with another rider and out of anger he randomly attacked the girl. "The girl had her headphones on. While she was crossing the road, the signal turned green," an officer from Mahim police station had told mid-day.

There is no doubt that this incident had totally shaken the girl and affected her emotionally.

His brazen act could have also taken a dangerous turn had there been a speeding car on the way. Though motorists and pedestrians were able to help her immediately, this might not be the case next time someone decides to vent their anger at a random person on a busy street. For the meantime, this biker should also be directed to undergo counselling or attend anger management classes.

While nobody should be a target of a frustrated young man, one cannot help but wonder if Pallan would have kicked a boy or a man in that moment. Be it cyber world or the real, women are always the targets of threats and denigration full of sexual connotation.

Then there is the sexual aspect of the incident. The minor girl was kicked on her bottom. It is an assault on her, her dignity and hence, is sexual abuse. And the Mahim police have rightly booked him for his offence. Pallan has been booked under Section 354 (outraging a woman's modesty) of the Indian Penal Code and relevant sections of Prevention of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.

This biker claimed he kicked the girl because he was angry. Tomorrow, he may react even worse out of rage and hurt someone seriously. His punishment needs to factor all this in too.

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