I love good stories where people stand up for themselves or others against those who wish to bring them harm. This is one of those stories! Pradnya Mandhare, 20, from Mumbai, was sexually assaulted by a drunk man, but she overpowered him, beat him down and then grabbed him by the hair, dragging him to the police while people gawked without helping her.
Mandhare is a third-year Bachelor of Mass Media student at Sathaye College in Vile Parle. She was taking the train home from school around 2:30 pm.
“When the train reached Kandivli station, there was an announcement that it would arrive at platform number 8 on Borivli station,” she said. “So I decided to get off that train and board another one to avoid making the long walk to the western end of Borivli station.”
“When I was waiting at the platform for another train, this visibly drunk person came to me and touched me inappropriately,” she added. “When I tried to avoid him, he grabbed me. I was shocked for a couple of seconds, but then I started hitting him with my bag.”
“He was trying to hit me, but I could overpower him because he was stinking of alcohol and I could make out that he was drunk,” she said. “Most women are scared of approaching the police as filing a complaint is a lengthy process.
Among the fifty or so passengers onboard the train with her, no one helped. They all stood and just looked.
“Kandivli station is always crowded and so many men and women saw the druggie try to attack me, but no one came forward to help,” she said.
People stopped to stare, but no one bothered to even ask what was going on,” Mandhare added. “Since the man was filthy, I found it difficult to even touch him. I caught him by his hair and dragged him to the Government Railway Police (GRP) chowkie.”
“He kept telling me not to drag him along and that he would come with me on his own, but I did not let go,” said Mandhare. “I finally managed to hand him over to the police.”
“Most women are scared of approaching the police as filing a complaint is a lengthy process,” Ms. Mandhare said.
“It involves giving a lot of statements and, sometimes, dealing with uncooperative officers,” she said. “But, I was firm on taking that man to the police. I am grateful that the police also helped me and arrested the accused. I also asked the police officers to teach the accused a lesson so that he would not dare to molest a woman ever again.”
A Borivli Police Officer provided a statement as to the man’s arrest:
“We have arrested the accused, Chavan (25), who is a drug addict and was also drunk when the incident took place. We conducted a medical test of the accused and he will be produced court on Thursday (today). We are verifying whether he has a previous criminal record.”
Mandhare said “Women are not objects for anyone to touch at will.”
She went on to say that though many parents of girls think that going to the police station, as she did, would “tarnish their daughter’s reputation,” but Mandhare believes that people like her attacker should be taught a lesson.
Newscom.au reports, “In a country where women and girls are routinely sexually assaulted and/or murdered, usually for some perceived slight against a man, victims report such incidents to police almost as rarely as they haul their attacker/s to the nearest cop shop.”
APlus adds, “Sexual assault is a huge problem in India. According to India Today, on average 92 Indian women are raped every day. Assaults, rape and even gang rape occur so frequently in New Delhi that The Washington Post reports that the city has been dubbed the country’s “rape capital.” Because of a low number of police, particularly female officers, and a culture of blaming women for crimes against them (the idea that wearing provocative clothing is an acceptable excuse for rape), sexual assault continues to rise.”
I think most of us agree that men like Chavan should be taught a lesson and I, for one, applaud Ms. Mandhare’s valiant efforts to not only defend herself, but to bring her attacker to justice as well. Well done young lady! Now, I only have to ask all the people that stood by and didn’t assist her why they didn’t act. How I long for a time when more men in society, both at home and abroad, would have acted chivalrously and dealt with this guy for Ms. Mandhare.