"What was she wearing? Was she roaming around late at night? Was she alone?"
These are the kind of questions people ask when a woman reports that she was harassed. We live in a country run by politicians like Botsa Satyanarayana, Andhra Pradesh Congress Chief, who was quoted saying, "Just because India achieved freedom at midnight does not mean that women can venture out after dark."
Women aren't safe at any hour of the day in any city in our country. Recently, Shibani, a girl living in Mumbai, shared an incident that will get your blood boiling.
On her birthday, Shibani took an auto near her residence in Mulund late at night. She quickly realized that she's short of cash and hence she made a stop at an ATM in Mulund itself to withdraw cash. Despite repeated tries, she was unsuccessful in getting money as the ATM machine had some issue. A while later, she saw a man, identified as Sandeep Khumbharkar, enter the ATM to offer her help. She politely declined the offer and walked out of the ATM. She got into a tussle with the auto guy and asked him if she could pay him through another mode of payment, but the auto guy demanded only cash. She then went back to the ATM to try to withdraw cash again. This time, Sandeep entered the ATM again and tapped on her shoulder, trying to touch her inappropriately.
She took to social media to narrate the incident further and wrote, "I'm once again at the ATM trying to withdraw money, and the man enters the ATM once again. But this time, he moves in closer and touches my shoulder and thigh, again, asking if I need help. I instantly back off and yell at him to stay away from me, and that I don't need his help. I go back to trying to withdraw money again, and he's still there. When I hear him, he's calling out to me and blatantly asking me to look at his hard dick that he had pulled out of his denim's zipper area. I quietly start my video recorder and turn the camera right at him. That's when he freaks out and runs out of the ATM."
Caution: Explicit Content Ahead
Watch the video here.
Disgusted by this man's actions, Shibani ran outside the ATM to report this incident to the cops. She showed them the video and they quickly chased him down.
In the morning, she visited the police station to register a First Information Report (FIR). There, she had yet another face-to-face encounter with the man. She wrote: "He was crying and pleading, but I knew I had to take action against him. So, along with my dad, I filed an FIR against him. He claimed to be drunk at the time, which does not excuse his actions at all. What he did, was scary and terrifying. This was a locality wherein I felt safe. But he has ruined it for me. I can't walk the streets feeling the same sense of safety. AND THIS IS MY HOME!"
She recently put out a tweet to say that the man has been arrested by Mumbai police.
Update: He has been caught and an FIR has been filed against him. Thank you everyone for such kind words and support. And thank you @MumbaiPolice for taking immediate action. :)
I really hope no one ever has to feel unsafe in a place they call home.
— ☆SHIBANI☆ (@shibxni) May 12, 2019
Shibani was very brave to have taken action against him. There are so many times such incidents take place but go unrecorded. While we want men to change their mentality, we must also encourage women to speak up.
Images source: Instagram
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