Police in Bangalore, India struggled to stop a crowd of men from groping and yelling lewd remarks at women gathered to celebrate New Year’s Eve due to the sheer number of molesters involved, according to local media.
The celebrations in Bangalore were attended by several thousand people with 1,500 police on duty, according to the Bangalore Mirror. The Mirror, who had photographers on site, claimed women were forced to “take off their stilettos and run for help” after a crowd of men began molesting them.
Described as drunk by the Mirror, the men easily outnumbered the police who could only selectively intervene. “I personally went and asked one of the cops deployed on the streets to go to the aid of two women being accosted by a group of youth on MG Road,” a witness told the Mirror. “He went and chased them but they were back to the spot in a couple of minutes.”
Initially no action was taken by police who claim they were unaware of any molestation on the night. “We got around 450 calls at the city control room when on Saturday night, especially after 10 pm till wee hours in the morning, and not even one was about women being assaulted or molested,” deputy commissioner Nagendra Kumar said.
Later they changed their stance, however, with police director Om Prakash saying that those involved in the attack would be identified and actions taken against them. Footage from more than 25 security cameras in the area is being examined.
The state’s Home Minister, G Parameshwara, said there were plenty of police on patrol and women weren’t in danger, adding that “western ways” adopted by the youngsters involved were to blame, according to the Indian Express.
“Youngsters who are almost like westerners, they try to copy the westerners not only in the mindset, but even the dressing,” Parameshwara said.
Allegations of such incidents have caused much anger and outrage towards police. “I think the culprits should get caught and punished and that should be made an example. I think young men need to be educated on how to behave,” one local told the Mirror.
Online social media users were also shocked this happened in Bangalore, claiming this was something they usually heard of happening in Dehli. The lack of any police reports being filed was described as “so so scary.”