Man Arrested For Allegedly Masturbating At Mumbai Woman
When Mumbaikar Isha Chitnis shared her harrowing experience of how a man masturbated at her, people dismissed it.
The man who was allegedly masturbating while looking at a woman in a Mumbai local, was arrested on 13 July, two weeks after the woman filmed him in the act and shared it on social media.
The accused has been identified as Ashok Pradhan, a 20-year-old, who hails from Odisha and resides in Chembur. The accused was taken to a Mumbai court.
Speaking to the press, ACP Machindra Chavan, CST division, Mumbai Railways said: “The crime occurred at CST on 29 June at 5.45 am and the arrest has been made today. A complaint was registered under Sections 354 and 509 IPC at CST police station. We traced the accused within six hours by checking CCTV footage of the platform. The constable who the girl spoke to didn't take the incident up with his superiors for which the department is initiating action against him.
The complainant, Mumbai resident Isha Chitnis told The Quint that it was only after she wrote about it and got the attention of various media outlets, the police took action. Speaking exclusively to The Quint, a police source revealed that the accused was caught based on Isha’s statement, CCTV footage and the video.
“Without calling the girl who made the recording, we filed an FIR based on the video itself and started investigating. We recorded her statement and then based on the CCTV footage and the video, we caught the accused. Some people recognised him since the accused does odd jobs at the station.
The Woman’s Ordeal
When Isha Chitnis reached the CST station at 5:45 am for a 6:15 am train on 29 June, she saw a guy masturbating inside the local. She could not believe her eyes and started recording what he was doing. She approached the nearest cop who failed to take any action either.
When she shared her experience and posted a video of the incident, people reacted with, “You need to let it go,” or “He did not do anything, so it is okay.”
Isha told The Quint that she was shocked at the fact that the police personnel did not do anything about it.
I showed the police the entire video and the only thing that he said was ‘sit somewhere else’. It is strange how we have to desensitise ourselves to such incidents and are always told to let it go.
Action, however, was taken in just 6 hours after it got media attention.
It happened on 29 June and I instantly tweeted the video to the Ministry of Railways, but nothing happened. It was only after the media attention that they responded and some action was taken. It is unthinkable what would have happened had I not raised alarm.
‘Can’t Imagine How Many Women Go Through This’
Isha did whatever was in her power to address her concerns. She took video proof, she informed the authorities, she made sure that the culprit is on recognisable, but no immediate action was taken.
It was only after she raised alarm on social media that the authorities took action.
I cannot imagine how many women must have had similar experiences. I had access to social media and media houses and I consider myself lucky that action has been taken.Isha Chitnis
On 6 June, Facebook user Pooja Nair posted about a similar incident in the Mumbai local.
Isha told us that she decided to go public after reading Nair’s post.
(This story has been updated to reflect the arrest of the accused)
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