BANGALORE: Two youths, who allegedly took photographs of a woman commuter on the Bangalore Metro rail after making lewd comments against her, surrendered before Ulsoor police on Thursday afternoon.
The duo – both 26-year-old diploma holders in engineering and working in a private firm – had used their cellphones to click pictures of the girl while travelling on the Metro on October 12.
The accused are E P Akhilesh, from Kannur in Kerala, and Ajay Ghosh from Periyapatna in Mysore district. Two other accused in this case are yet to be traced.
Prakrithi Sharma, a second-year BCom student from Tambuchettypalya, filed a complaint with BMRC on October 21. The case was later transferred to the local police.
Akhilesh and Ajay were slapped with section 509 of the IPC – which says “word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman”. But police justified slapping the section, saying the “crime is not of serious nature”.
“They have no criminal background for us to slap more stringent sections of the criminal law,” said DCP (East) PS Harsha. The DCP stated that the youths were asked to resign their jobs after the incident came to light.
In her complaint, Prakrithi said four youths travelling along with her on the Metro had allegedly teased her and others in the train and misbehaved with them. In her complaint, she also took on Metro authorities for providing inadequate safety to women commuters. She also stated that the four youths stalked her from MG Road Metro station and passed lewd comments while she was travelling between Byappanahalli and MG Road Metro station around 8pm on October 12.
She said they also took photographs of her on their mobile phones after sitting in front of her. “Inside the train they also made vulgar gestures,” her complaint alleged.
The matter was brought to the notice of a security guard at Vivekananda station by another woman, but the guard was of little help. Even her woman companion’s complaints were turned down by the Metro security who told the victim to stop wasting their time. The perpetrators then threatened both women against complaining to police, the complaint stated.
DCP Harsha said the accused had denied taking any pictures of the girl. “The youths are being interrogated and they are eligible to obtain bail at the police station and need not be produced before court later,” Harsha said.
Petty case? The police instead of slapping stringent provisions of the new amended Criminal Law which received the President’s nod in April this year, booked the two youths under section 509 of IPC which is equal to a petty case. CV Sudhindhra, a senior advocate, said the newly amended provisions of criminal acts might have attracted more stringent punishment.
What Section 509 of IPC says: Whoever, intending to insult the modesty of any woman, utters any word, makes any sound or gesture, or exhibits any object, intending that such word or sound shall be heard, or that such gesture or object shall be seen, by such woman, or intrudes upon the privacy of such woman, shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine, or both.
- The amendment in criminal law was passed by Lok Sabha on March 19 and by Rajya Sabha on March 21 and was replaced an ordinance thus promulgating the Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill-2013 on February 3 this year.
- It amends various sections of the IPC, the Code of Criminal Procedure, the Indian Evidence Act and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act.
- To provide a strong deterrent for crimes against women like rapes and molestation, the new law states that an offender can be sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for a term not less than 20 years and extendable to life.