Cops hunt for 'molester' after letting him off the hook

Police are hunting for a 32-year-old man who purportedly molested a woman in a drunken stupor in central Bengaluru's MG Road on Monday evening. The cops had let him off as the woman refused to file a complaint.

However, when the matter was brought to the notice of senior police officers, they directed the station house officer of the Cubbon Park police station to open a suo motu case of molestation and arrest the suspect, Thimmegowda, of Veerabhadra Nagar, Banashankari 1st Stage.

Police appear to have botched up the case. Though they slapped a notice of eve-teasing and public nuisance on the suspect under section 92Q of the Karnataka Police Act, they didn't get him medically examined, in spite of eyewitness accounts that he appeared drunk.

The incident occurred around 7.30 pm when the woman, along with a female friend and two children, was near the MG Road metro station. She let out a scream that Thimmegowda had touched her inappropriately. A crowd gathered soon after and confronted Thimmegowda and his friend, Raju. The children accompanying the women were petrified by the commotion.

Thimmegowda pleaded with the crowd: "I committed a mistake. Slap me for that, but why call the police?" His friend suggested that the woman was about to fall and that Thimmegowda had only saved her.

The women then called up members of their family who too were on MG Road. Two male relatives rushed to the spot and called the Namma 100 police helpline.

A police patrol car (Hoysala vehicle number 13) arrived at the spot along with an assistant sub-inspector Lakshman, from the Cubbon Park police station. The policeman asked the woman and her family to file a complaint but they refused to do so. At the same time, however, they wanted action against the suspect.

Police bundled the suspect into the patrol car and took him to the police station.

Since no formal complaint was made, police let the suspect off after slapping a notice of eve-teasing and public nuisance on him. They didn't take him to a hospital for a medical examination either to determine whether he was drunk.

Chandragupta, deputy commissioner of police (central), later ordered the local police to file a case on their own and hunt down the suspect.

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