The Bengaluru Police on Thursday arrested four of the seven men detained in connection with the case of molestation in the city’s Kammanahalli locality. Two accused and their five accomplices were taking in for questioning on Wednesday after a video surfaced, in which two men were seen groping and assaulting a woman when she was walking down an empty street in east Bengaluru.
They were identified as Leno – the main accused – Ayyappa, Raju and Chinnu, The Indian Express reported. Leno, a BCom student, was the man riding pillion who had accosted the woman first, while Ayyappa had waited on the scooter around 2.45 am on New Year’s Eve. The other two are reportedly part of a group of men who were stalking the woman and her friend.
Police told The Indian Express that the men had interacted with the woman earlier in different capacities. They are all residents of the same locality.
An investigation found that the mobile phone of one of the two main accused was active at the time of the crime at the spot where the incident took place, according to the daily. One of the accused lives in the same street as the woman, close to when she was molested.
The woman, who is from Northeast India, lived in the neighbourhood with her roommate. Hundreds of students and youths from other states reside in the same locality. Officials told The Indian Express that she had given her statement to the police but had yet to lodge a complaint. It was reported earlier that the woman was hesitant to come forward and identify the men. A case of attempted rape, molestation and robbery has been registered.
The assault was captured on a CCTV camera fitted at a house on the same street. The resident shared the footage on Facebook as well as with the media and police. It has been shared widely on social media and played on loop on TV channels.
In the video, two men on a scooter are seen stopping a few feet away from the woman as she is walking down the street. The pillion then gets off the vehicle and gropes her while she tries to wrest herself away from him. The rider, too, molests her, after which she is thrown to the ground as they ride away on their two-wheeler.
This incident is believed to have taken place hours after a mass molestation was reported from the heart of Bengaluru on New Year’s Eve. On December 31, an unruly mob was seen pawing, molesting and passing laws remarks at women in the city’s MG Road and Brigade Road. Eyewitnesses had said the police were unable to control the crowd. Investigators had said on Wednesday that they had found credible evidence in connection with the mass harassment, but no arrests have been made yet.