They kicked her, but weren’t ready for what happened next

A citizen's account of being physically harassed and not backing down.

Born and brought up in Bengaluru, I love this city a little too much! I love it so much that two years ago, I decided to say goodbye to the US to come back and settle here. I was always too proud of being a Bangalorean. I remember the days when the roads were more pedestrian-friendly and when people were concerned about one another and came out to help whenever they saw someone in need. As a child, I was brought up by my neighbours, as my parents had to juggle between work and us, their kids. I remember walking around and playing on the roads carefree.

All these sweet memories were shot down on 25 November 2013. It had been a usual long Monday. At 5:30pm I left from my house on my Honda Activa and was heading towards the gym. I usually drive to the gym, but considering the parking problem in that area, I decided to take the two-wheeler. I am very wary when riding a two wheeler, so I stick to the side of the road and let everybody else pass by. I was doing the same thing, going past BDA complex at Banashankari 2nd stage, when I heard a loud horn (a wolf horn), so I moved closer to the footpath. The person behind me kept sounding the horn for a long time and finally moved closer.

The next thing I know is that two guys on a white Honda Activa are next to me; the guy sitting behind pushed my shoulder (guy in turquoise/ blue shirt – Naveen) while the one in the front  (guy in red t-shirt – Praveen) kicked my right calf muscle. I was shell-shocked, as I fell off the Activa, but then held on to the footpath and balanced myself and the vehicle. I quickly glanced at their vehicle number, got up, sat on the vehicle for a couple of minutes as I gathered my senses back. I decided not to let this event ruin my day and headed towards the gym.

The eve-teasers

As I joined the next main road, i.e. Suchitra Kala Mandira Post Office road, Banashankari 2nd stage, I saw the same guys standing near a shop there. I had two choices at this point in time, one was to ignore these rogues and just pass by; the other was to confront them.

I saw that there were about 30-40 people on the road, mostly men and thought this would help me stay safe. I went closer to where these guys were, asked them why they had kicked me. I wanted to know if they knew me or had any reason to kick me. Praveen charged towards me and I immediately clicked a picture of him at that minute. This aggravated them further and Praveen started abusing me in English. Naveen too joined in and started abusing me using third rate, cheap, extremely vulgar Kannada abuses.

They both were trying to jump on me while two guys, their friends, were trying to hold them back. I looked around for help and all these men on the road were just standing and watching the whole episode unfold. I then shouted randomly at all of them asking if they had no humanity left in them and how could they just be spectators to what was happening right in front of them.

After this 10-12 men came along and first advised that the guys were drunk and I should therefore adjust to such things. This just ticked me off further. I parked my two-wheeler and said that I needed to know why those guys kicked me and would not leave till I was given a valid reason. The two guys continued abusing me and tried to come forward to hurt me, but were held back by the people who had come to help. In the next 15 minutes, the people there coaxed them to calm down and sent them away. At this point I was not just physically hurt, but mentally torn hearing all those abuses and I was shivering.

The backlash

I called my husband, gave him the vehicle number and sent him the picture of the guys. He got the details of the vehicle owner from the Bangalore One center. We then went to the police station to register a complaint. It took us about two hours to complete the formalities and in the station I was told that these guys were regular offenders. The cops did have some complaints against them, but nothing got to the FIR stage as the girls had backed out.

Eventually, Naveen was arrested on the same day and Praveen the following afternoon. They were taken to the magistrate on Tuesday night and then granted bail. I went to the police station on Wednesday morning to collect a copy of the FIR and was told that they would be out of custody in the next couple of hours. The police also informed me that the court case would continue and that I would have to go to the court when they sent out the summons; not sure how long this wait is going to be!

I was told that the boys were 20 year olds pursuing their 12th standard. I don’t what to spoil their future or play any part in making them bigger criminals. My only intention is to teach them how to behave with others, especially women. And I hope they learn that!

While this is what I am thinking, my family, friends and a lot of other people who heard my story on Facebook are worried about my safety. I think I will be alright, I have seen a lot of support from family, friends and even strangers; this gives me the strength and perseverance to face all odds.

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  1. Suresh N Ranganath says:

    In Namma Bengaluru, there are many Naveen’s & Praveen’s to trouble innocent public.

    To counter them we need many brave Roopa Ramalingamurthy’s….

    During such times even public should cultivate a habit of supporting and helping the needy….

  2. Natarajan Iyer says:

    Nothing much in court. The magistrate would call and you have to confirm the incident. But remember not to back out. If you do so, immediately charges of false complaint would turn against you and you have to visit court again to withdraw your complaint and separately face charges of false complaint. So the hunter would become the hunted.
    Be Alert. Come what may, do not back out.

    Roopa, when one pig is being slaughtered all the other pigs would cry loudly and some might even run and the public would watch the fun and react in different methods. But a pig meant to be slaughtered has to be slaughtered.
    So these chaps who harassed you need to be punished. Do not get cowed down by threats, whatsoever and from whomsoever. You are the VICTIM and not the PERPETRATOR. Remember that.

    it was very heartening to read about your courage. But it was equally dis-heartening to read about your lines of PITY saying you do not want to spoil their future,…

    Roopa, decide before the war and not during the war.
    These rogues would intially cry and if you melt, they would fry you.
    To you your experience was night-marish. To them they are right and they feel wronged and add to this their thousand and one FRIENDS, each one instigating them further.

    You will be ADVISED by your family, friends, …etc and even silenced.
    But you cannot and should not back out now.

    If you did not want strict action, you should not have stopped your bike and confronted them.
    Now the war is out into the open.
    The matter is in the court and hence just watch the event unfold.

    Even the police might cold-shoulder you and all reactions might emerge from multiple people.
    But do not get affected and remember one thing

    ” Not even your little finger can be harmed by those cowards. But yes, they can send multiple war-cries. Do not bother.”

    Just lead your daily life as any other normal day.

    Remember one thing however…The Bangalore of a ONE MILLION population you saw earlier with T V Serials ( Malgudi days ,… etc ) is long since dead.
    The BANGALORE TODAY WITH TWENTY MILLIONS Population and it’s evolving middle class, the evolving India, post 1989 is filled with all those people many of whose parents were from the lowest strata of society.

    BOTH IN TERMS OF CULTURAL STATURE AND ECONOMIC STATUS, the Bangaloreans you saw are today within their private world and moved away from ACTIVE BUILDING of society having realized the futility of investing their time, money and energy interacting with these blaggards and people of regressive mind-set.

    All the best. Be brave but also wise, in the future.
    Keep moving. This is the way to survive in EVOLVING INDIA

    Natarajan Iyer

  3. Varun Bhat says:

    People like these should be taught a lesson. I wonder when India will become civilized. So called educated people behave like illiterates and animals.
    Kudos to you, as you dint cow down by ignoring them.

  4. Karthik Bhat says:

    This is ridiculous :(. They should be put behind the bars.

  5. Christina John says:

    Need to listen to both sides of the story before coming to any conclusion. Not saying this cannot be true but cant otherwise understand why these 2 guys would’ve assaulted the author even if they were a little drunk.

    If they’ve indeed assaulted without any given reason, then these guys should be punished and made an example of for everyone else to see such that future occurrences do not repeat.

  6. Rohit Swamy says:

    They should be sent to jail and given proper punishment

  7. skanda ashok says:

    Appalling! But these kind of incidents have repeatedly happened. And the only way to condemn them completely is to be merciless ,. Im sorry for what you have gone through, pls dont show pitty on rogues, there are many things boys or real men can do after getting drunk, these are acts of spineless creatures of low value and upbringing. Also think of it as a way to educate them, coz the law will be able to help only on your orders .

  8. M. Lakshminath says:

    IPC is so weak that any culprit who is a hooligan walk freely all his life and at the most get a warning from the police after a compromise with the complainant and the police will be too happy to close the case and less burden on the judiciary, as also less load on the overburdened police, that is law and order. Even if the person is manhandled and seriously injured and recovers the same fate will follow with respect to crooks. Infact police will look for such crooks to empanel them for suitable help in times of need. It is a vicious cycle and it will be difficult to find a solution for gentleman and ladies. You remember Com Subbarao how he suffered in India while emplaning to States two decades back and his son is in prison in States for the last few years for scripting a limerick onBush.

  9. S Srinivasan says:

    Such people should not be left free as they may have connections with politicians or rich families or rogues. It is very unfortunate the general public do not come to help the victim. Police do not take up such cases until you have high connections.
    The Govt. is bogged down in its own muck and do not bother about the increasing crimes against women. Do not move alone hereafter.Protect yourself .

  10. Ashwin Krishna says:

    I hope law punishes them. These idiot teenagers should be taught what is right and what is not. If they are taught a lesson now, they will might become rogues, thugs, robbers or gangsters. Let there deeds pay for their future!

  11. Amit Bansal says:

    > Not saying this cannot be true but cant otherwise understand why these 2 guys would’ve assaulted the author even if they were a little drunk.

    Seriously? I must applaud your rare faith in our fellow humans, its quite touching. I bet you make it a point to show how liberal and broad-minded you are by stating that women who get molested must have asked for it in some way. Oh you lot make me sick.

  12. Amit Bansal says:

    ‘@the author regarding your point “I don’t what to spoil their future or play any part in making them bigger criminals.”

    I’m sorry I have to disagree with you here. First of you have shown a lot of guts in what you have done. If more women had the guts to stand up for themselves, file FIRs, follow-up, take the matter to the logical conclusion, we would be sending out a strong message for women’s rights. All the grandstanding, all the melas and the candle-walks cant do shit. So: it would be great if you can follow this all the way through without falling prey to such thoughts.

    Now, if you need some direct help and guidance: my wife is currently fighting a somewhat similar case which happened exactly a year ago, and also has a counter complaint filed against her, etc. She is herself a social activist and is being helped in this case by women’s organizations and represented by the Alternate Law Forum. Please let us know if you want us to put you in touch with such organizations.

  13. Max Payne says:

    From the pic the person hardly looks like a 12th std. boy but of course looks can be deceiving. Many such lumpen youngsters are reportedly used by political parties, criminal gangs and even the cops. That is where they get their courage to do things like this. In a way they are today part of the main-stream system and fighting it is not easy as they will all gang up to protect each other. The only way an individual can stand up to this kind of terrorism on the street is to join hands with other such like-minded people and groups to fight it.

  14. sundaram s says:

    The police and magistrates are not yet sensitized to eve-teasing and unprovoked violence on public roads and are habituated to first ignore and when persisted they try to treat such matters casually by diluting the FIR. Unless the Police is taken to task for failing to do their duty properly the situation may not get any better in future too. By writing a blog the victim has atleast sensitized public.

  15. G. Chandrashekar says:

    Police should install CCTC in all places to curtail these anti social elements. Hope the present Govt. takes initiatives on this very important aspect. There was a communication from Police abt installing CCTVs in sensitive areas long back but they are yet to install the same. If they say. funds no problem, why delay in installing the same. Even the mamools extracted from road side vendors will also be curtailed.

  16. Ganeshan Aru says:

    The Police, Magistrate and all Gov reps can do their job well if we as public citizens stand by them and also demand that they do. The repeat offenses of these young men indicate that we are not dealing with it in earnest beyond sympathies and words of support to victims from a distance. It is appalling that even in one out of possibly a 100 cases that comes to limelight, the victim faces such a high cost of energy, time and effort to ask for basic justice.
    Please support the petition I have put here, so our voices get louder:

  17. Narendra Kumar.S.S says:

    [[@Christina John: Need to listen to both sides of the story before coming to any conclusion.]]
    Why would the author take the trouble of filing FIR, taking photographs, writing articles, if nothing has happened? The case has been filed and police will listen to both sides. And from the article, it is clear that, the perpetrators have committed similar crimes in the past. You should have atleast considered their past history, before writing this comment.

    [[@Max Payne: From the pic the person hardly looks like a 12th std.]]
    Why do you assume that, they have come to 12th std this year only. These kind of boys will be least interested in studies. They will be going to school to kill time, look at other girls, etc. They will keep appearing in 10th or 12th std exams for many years. So, it is not a surprise, if that person is in 12th std for last 5 years!

    But, what about the safety of the author? If these students are criminals or have criminal friends, they will definitely try to attack her again! Who will protect her? I don’t think, police will give protection 24X7! She cannot stay indoors all the times. They may just come near and throw some chemicals or acid and escape! Somebody might catch them, put them in jail for few months/years. But, the author will have to suffer life long.
    People can ask her to stand firm, talk about her courage, etc. But, nobody will come to help her in case of eventuality!!

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