New years eve night of revelry turned chaotic, as hooligans ruled over the streets of Bengaluru.
As usual, women bore the brunt of the raucous crowd in the central Bengaluru areas of MG Road brigade road and church street. Eve teasing, lewd remarks, and molestation ruled the night with many women rushing to policemen on duty for help and support until they could get safe transport home.
“By midnight, the shouts of Happy new year turned to help me,“ says K Anantha Subrananyam, a photographer for the Bangalore Mirror who was witness to the scenes of women in anguish.
“We were a group of three boys and six girls. We were waiting for our cab but so many rowdies were passing lewd remarks that we sought out policemen and stood near uniformed cops till our cab came. We were clearly outnumbered so didn’t want to take any chances by questioning the drunk men, ” said Tejasvi Mahadev, a city resident who was on church street.
There were no police officials in the spot and the others on deployment were in certain pockets, not spread across the region, he says. Constables stood helplessly, realising that they too were outnumbered as this year saw unprecedented crowds on the streets.
“Drunk men were passing by in cars would accost and shout at girls walking on the road. If they too were walking by, they would try to come and wish happy new year, wanting to touch the girls and take selfies. It was disgusting,” says Tejasvi.
Inebriated men trying to ride bikes were also falling on the streets, and picked up later by policemen, much after 2 pm. Since bars and restaurants were open till 1 pm to usher in the new year, police struggled to bring things under control and disperse the crowds all the way till 3 am.
This happened despite the region saw extra deployment and other precautionary measures being taken such as flyovers being closed to prevent unruly bike riders from trying stunts.
“I had not taken charge as commissioner till 1st January. Also, there is not a single complaint so what can I comment,” said Praveen Sood, Bangalore police commissioner.