Third case in 7 days: App biker held for molestation in Kolkata – Times of India

Kolkata News

KOLKATA: A 22-year-old app-bike taxi rider was nabbed by the Garfa police late on Saturday for allegedly molesting and shoving a 25-year-old freelance journalist on the Prince Anwar Shah Road Connector on Friday. The incident, the third one in south suburban Kolkata within a week, occurred around 1pm near the Kalikapur petrol pump.
The accused – Dhiraj Kumar Ram – is a resident of Tiljala Road under Karaya police station. Incidentally, the Garfa police was involved in the arrest of another app bike rider barely 72 hours ago on a similar complaint from the same area by another 25-year-old.
According to the victim, who was earlier posted in Nashik, is a resident of Narayantala in Rajarhat. On Friday morning, she first travelled to a Beliaghata address. Around 12.40pm, she had hailed the bike taxi from there to head to a playschool and day-care centre in the Selimpur area. “I need to travel frequently and regularly avail of bike taxis. That day, when we reached the Ruby Crossing, the rider asked me to guide him by indicating the direction to my drop-off point,” she said.
“I told him that I already had my own mobile phone in my hand as I was getting calls. Hence, I could not take another cellphone in my other hand as that would be risky. This irked him who refused to check his device himself for directions and kept it in his pocket. For the next ten to twelve minutes, we kept circling the Rajdanga area. It seemed that he was carrying out a vendetta and trying to increase the fare in the process,” the woman recounted to TOI on Sunday.
“The rider claimed that he had no intention to roam around with me and became abusive. He did not cuss me, but continued to taunt. It was then that I insisted he drop me on the main road so that I can book another ride. He finally dropped me near Kalikapur petrol pump on the Anwar Shah Road Connector,” she said.
The fare was Rs 73 and she passed him a Rs 100 note. “He took out the change and inappropriately touched me while passing it onto me. He then shoved me and fled the spot. I shouted in alarm and several passersby rushed to my aid. One of them dialled 100 and cops from Garfa police reached the spot. They guided me on the legal procedure and were extremely helpful all along,” recalled the complainant.
The Garfa police said that they slapped IPC sections pertaining to molestation, insulting the modesty of a woman and criminal intimidation. “We traced his location and arrested the accused around 8.25pm on Saturday from his residence,” said DC (SSD) Rashid Munir Khan.
“We have taken Ram in police custody for two days to investigate his possible involvement in similar cases,” said an investigating officer.
(The victim’s identity has not been revealed to protect her privacy as per Supreme court directives on cases related to sexual assault)