'We didn't want to just sit down and lie to ourselves'

Says family which tipped cops on Kammanahalli incident

'We didn't want to just sit down and lie to ourselves'

The brazen molestation of a woman in Kammanahalli in the early hours of New Year’s Day, as captured by a CCTV camera, has shaken and rattled Bengaluru.

The footage shows a woman, walking home after alighting from an autorickshaw, being molested by two bike-borne men at 5th main, 7th cross, Kammanahalli in eastern Bengaluru. The men also took away her purse.

The incident would have remained under wraps, but for the gritty family living in the two-storeyed house where the camera was installed.

The house owner learnt about the incident on the afternoon of January 1 when four girls came up to him and narrated what had happened on the night before. They requested him to check if his CCTV camera had captured the incident.

The owner checked the footage and was horrified to see the incident unfold. “We didn’t know these girls. They told us they live a few metres ahead. They are not from Bengaluru. When we saw the video, we didn’t ask the girls anything, as we were just dumbstruck. They thanked us and left. We realised they were too frightened and didn’t want to talk about it,” the owner told DH, requesting anonymity.

But the family decided not to keep quiet. Another member of the family, who also didn’t give his name, said, “We decided that something should be done about it. We didn’t want to just sit down and try to lie to ourselves when such a heinous crime took place right outside our house.”

Incidentally, the house owner’s son-in-law knows Srinivas T, the inspector of Hennur police station. On January 3, he called him up and told him about the footage. The inspector came over, saw the video and alerted his counterpart at the jurisdictional Banaswadi police station. The family gave the footage to police for investigation.

Police and local residents lauded the family for installing the CCTV camera. A resident, Samuel, said, “The building owner is a close friend of mine and he had asked me to instal a CCTV camera for my own safety. He had installed the camera just a few weeks ago. Now, we know how important a CCTV camera is. Without the CCTV camera, the incident would not have come to light.”

Local residents are yet to come to terms with the incident. Sheela Mary, who lives in the street where the incident took place, said, “We didn’t hear anything that night, though we come to check even if there is a minor disturbance outside. The street is just 10 feet wide and houses adjoin. The main road is just a few metres away. Numerous women pass through the lane daily. Now, we have to think twice before venturing out at night.”
 

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