Rogue men abuse MiD DAY journalists in a Mumbai eatery

Feb 18, 2014, 07:05 IST | A Correspondent

Six unidentified men hurled filthy abuses at five reporters in a Parel restaurant; threatened the female reporters, asking them to go back to UP and MP; incident captured on CCTV

At a time when the city’s new police commissioner, Rakesh Maria, has made women’s security his topmost priority after taking charge, five MiD DAY journalists, including a male reporter, were subjected to the most foulest of verbal abuse while they were having lunch yesterday.

The incident occurred around 2 pm, when the five journalists decided to have lunch at a vegetarian restaurant near MiD DAY’s Parel office. The journalists occupied a table behind a group of six men, who got irritated when they were asked by the waiter to move their chairs a little ahead, so that the diners could make their way to the seats.

Outrageous behavior: CCTV footage obtained from the restaurant shows the group of unknown men launching a foul-mouthed abuse at the MID DAY journalists, while the other diners look in horror; (below) two of the accused captured on tape leaving the restaurant

Recounting the incident, one of the journalists said, “After we took our seats, they began staring at one of us, when we turned our heads and noticed them. One of the female journalists reacted by calling the men uncultured, after which all hell broke loose. The men took offence and launched a tirade of foul abuse for 15 minutes. They kept abusing us, as we decided to not to make a scene and kept silent. One of the men then got off his seat and threatened us about how they would make our stay in the city difficult.”

As the restaurant had no mobile network, the journalists were unable to call the police. The male journalist, however, bore the brunt of the abuses and was targeted heavily by the group of men who said that he should not try to act smart just because he was sitting with four women.

“I did not take it kindly when they abused me and my female colleagues using words like m*******d and b******d, but I knew that if I responded, they would have reacted angrily and might have even gotten physical. I tried calling the police, but the call didn’t go through due to the poor network coverage,” said the male journalist.

‘Go back to UP’
“The men were abusing us continuously in Marathi, and when they heard us speak in Hindi, they told us to flee from this state and go to UP and MP,” added another journalist.

“We feared that any reaction from us would have resulted in them damaging the premises and disturbing other customers, so we kept quite. After trying several times, we managed to finally contact the police, but by then, the men had left the hotel, as they saw us making the call. “We called the police on the 100 number and they arrived at the hotel in 10 minutes. But the unruly group had left by then,” said another journalist.

Armed with the CCTV footage of the incident, the journalists then made their way to the Bhoiwada police station. “We hope the cops take stringent action against the men, so that it discourages unruly men from doing this to any other women,” said the journalist.

Madhukar Pandey, ACP, Central Region, said, “It’s very bad and I will personally look into this matter and strong action will be taken against the culprits.”

Dhananjay Kulkarni, DCP, Zone-5, said, “We have registered an FIR under sections 504, 506 and 294 of the IPC. We are on the lookout for the men.”

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