Crime

NRI woman from UK on visit to Kolkata takes on child molesters

July 26, 2017 05:01 AM

KOLKATA: A 30-year-old homemaker, living in UK but visiting her parent's place in Kolkata now, took on two men who were allegedly molesting and assaulting two children outside Lake Mall in Rasbehari Avenue on Friday night.

She not only stopped the assault, but also lodged a complaint about it with Tollygunge police station the next day. Cops confirmed they have registered a general diary, but in the absence of any name or proper physical description of the two men, there was not much progress into the investigation.

"I felt pity for the two kids who are possibly forced child labourers. But I shuddered at the thought of what these children undergo at night when they sleep with these men. How can we keep our eyes closed to such violation of human and child rights right in front of our eyes everyday?" Banerjee wrote in her complaint.



Pujarini Banerjee, who is staying with her mother at Dhakuria, was waiting outside the mall on Friday around 9.30pm when she saw two men allegedly dragging two a boy and a girl — both below 10 — behind parked rickshaws on Kavi Bharati Sarani and touching the girl inappropriately. "The girl was visibly uncomfortable with the advances and seeing her in trouble, the boy possibly tried to stop them. One of the two men then slapped the kid and he fell on the road," said Banerjee.

Seeing the men assaulting the kids, Banerjee shouted at them and a crowd gathered at the spot. The men initially looked hesitant, but the one who had allegedly slapped the child was quick to regain composure. He picked up the child claiming that he was his brother and that he had only hit him mildly. "The two men were in their 30s and it was impossible that the child was his brother. I asked them where their parents were and why he hit them. To this, the man replied that their parents live in Bihar and both the children work in the fish market," she said.

Banerjee however threatened to call the police and said that she had seen that the men were molesting the girl. "To this, the one who had first touched the girl, came forward and said 'Police ke ki bolben? Chup chap thakun. O shob police folice amader dakhaben na (What will you tell the cops? Stay quiet. Don't threaten us with cops)'. I looked around as a crowd had gathered there, but none raised a voice as the boy who was slapped kept sobbing and the girl stood with her face hung low. Both of them were held by the two men," she said.

Banerjee said she wanted to take pictures and videos of the two men but there were shopping and grocery bags in both her hands and by the time she put them aside, the duo dragged the two children inside the fish market on the ground floor of the mall. "I turned to a group of shopkeepers who were standing there and asked them why they didn't protest. They said the matter was not alarming and was usual with boys and girls like them who have no place to stay and have to sleep beside these men at night," she said.

Banerjee added that she was shocked that the incident happened in a well-lit area, almost on the main road, with quite a few people around and none protested. "I felt pity for the two kids who are possibly forced child labourers. But I shuddered at the thought of what these children undergo at night when they sleep with these men. How can we keep our eyes closed to such violation of human and child rights right in front of our eyes everyday?" Banerjee wrote in her complaint.

 

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