New Delhi: Two years in a row, New Year revelry in Mumbai has gone awry. This year, in a city which boasts of being safe for women, a mob of 70 to 80 men groped and molested two women for about 15 minutes on a busy main street in Juhu early on New Year's Day.
The Hindustan Times team, who recorded the sequence of events, reports that the women came out of the JW Marriott Hotel with two male friends around 0145 hours IST, and walked towards Juhu beach. Soon a mob of about 40 men began teasing the women, which led to one of the women swearing at the hooligans. But the mob, by then 70-80 strong, pounced on them.
A Hindustan Times cameraperson spotted a police van and called for help, following which the police rushed in and chased away the mob. However, no case has been registered so far.
Reacting to the incident, ACP of the Western region in Mumbai Archana Tyagi told CNN-IBN, “We are trying to find out the facts of the story published in Hindustan Times and also talking to traffic officer and reporters to help in the investigations, but this is shocking and strict action will be taken against the culprits.”
A similar incident had shamed Mumbai exactly a year ago when a girl was molested by revelers at the Gateway of India on New Year’s eve. That incident, too, was captured on film by a popular Mumbai tabloid
Drunk revelers had stripped and molested a woman in public view, as her friend watched helplessly.
This year’s incident comes a day after the National Crime Records Bureau released its latest report, which stated that Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore account for one out of every three crimes in cities with a million-plus population.
The latest incident also poses new questions on the safety of women in Mumbai and even though proof of the incident is plain and available the police say that lack of information is their biggest challenge in making any arrest.
Meanwhile, according to latest figures, in the intervening night of December 31 and January 1 Mumbai traffic police detained a record 338 people on charges of drunken driving.
The police also booked 45 motorists for rash driving and 46 more for speeding. Thirty-four of the drunken driving accused were presented in court on Tuesday and sentences ranged from one to three days of imprisonment.
During a six-month long drive Mumbai police has already booked 12,000 motorists, 2,500 of whom have already been sentenced to imprisonment and fines amounting to Rs 2 crore have been collected.
But on Tuesday, the police surpassed its own previous record of detaining maximum people within a single night.