KOLKATA: A city-based model was allegedly dragged out of an Uber cab and molested by a group of men in south Kolkata in the early hours of Tuesday. The Uber driver was also assaulted by the miscreants.
The woman, who works “with the Media and Entertainment industry”, was coming back from work with a colleague when the car was allegedly attacked by a group of 15 bike-borne men near Exide Crossing. The men dragged out the driver and beat him up.
The victim ran across to nearby Maidan Police station across the road, requesting an officer to help. The officer initially refused to act stating that the incident comes under the jurisdiction of a different police station, but later decided to help. However, the miscreants pushed the officer and ran away.
After deciding to pursue the matter with the police in the morning, the victim and her colleague along with the Uber driver turned towards home. While dropping off the colleague, the victim noticed six men riding three bikes following the cab. The men soon started pelting stones and vandalised the vehicle. They allegedly dragged the woman out of the cab and tried to break the phone in an attempt to delete the video.
An FIR has been registered in the matter and six persons – Rahit, Fardin Khan, Sabir Ali, Gani, Imran Ali, Wasim and Atif Khan – have been arrested so far.
The model, who's represented India on global platforms, shared a long Facebook narrating her horrific ordeal. Kolkata Police later responded to the post: “We have taken this incident very seriously and seven persons have been arrested so far. On the order of the Commissioner of Police, Kolkata, an inquiry regarding the non-registration of F.I.R. has been initiated into this incident, at a very senior level.”
Here are some excerpts of the woman's FB post:
“Last night 18th June 2019 at around 11:40 pm I took an Uber from JW Marriott kolkata to go back home after finishing work, since I work with the Media and Entertainment industry working late hours is necessary in my job profile. I was accompanied by my colleague. We were taking a left turn from the Exide Crossing towards Elgin while few boys in a bike (without helmet ) came and hit the uber. To which they stopped the bike and started yelling at the driver. In a fraction of second there were 15 boys and they all started banging the car window and dragging the driver out. They dragged the driver and started beating him up. This is when I stepped out and started shouting taking a video of the incident. I ran across the street to Maidan Police station, I saw an officer standing and I requested him to come with me, he told me that this is not under them but under the jurisdiction of Bhawanipore Police station. This is when I broke down I begged them to come or else the boys would have killed the driver. The officers came and held the boys saying why are they creating nuisance. The boys pushed the police officers and ran away. After everything was over two officers from Bhawanipore police station came, by then it was 12am. I requested the driver to drop me and my colleague home and decided to take it up with the police station tomorrow morning.
“To my utter surprise the boys followed us till my colleagues house and right when we were dropping him near lake gardens govt housing 6 of the boys in 3 bikes came and stopped my car, threw stones, broke the car. Dragged me out and tried to break my phone to delete the video. My colleague jumped out out of fear and I was completely shaken. I came out started shouting by now the locals had come out.
“I took a breather and called my dad and my sister. Considering it happens in the next lane and in my locality. The cops came told me to do an FIR at Charu Market police station. I went there met the sub-inspector who told me my complain will be only taken by the Bhawanipore police station. At this point I gave up and started shouting. 1:30 am. No female police officer at the station. After raising a lot of questions the officer took my complain but refused to take the Uber drivers complain stating that 2 FIR’s can’t be taken for the same complain. And he told me that it’s against the law. My uber driver insisted that he wants to do the complain but the officers didn’t take it,” she wrote in the post.
“Firstly, if you are getting mobbed, violated, molested or even killed please be assured about the jurisdiction of the police station before running to them. Because even if it is 100 meter away from your spot and not under the jurisdiction chances are very rare they will come and help. Secondly , how does 15 boys without helmet have such ease to beat up the uber driver and break the car. In south kolkata??? What I realised that this was a way to extract money from the driver by threatening him in a mob. This is absolutely a way of extortion.
“Thirdly, even if the mob is beating the driver if you step out and raise a voice you will be attacked. To help others and stand up is a scary thing to do because the police who was 100 mtrs away refused to help. The sub-inspector refused to take my drivers FIR stating that it’s not under the law.
“And lastly, this could happen to anybody, your sister coming back from tuition, your mother coming back from work, your father who is driving the car or your brother who is trying to protect you. My Uber driver, who probably has got his Uber on loan and driving and making money for his family, who is trying to defy the odds of unemployment and working hard will be scared to drive, will be scared to reach out to the judiciary,” the victim added.
The post went viral on Facebook with more than 5500 shares at the time of filing the story.