Mysuru Dasara: women molested at Open Street fest

Open Street Fest organised as part of Mysuru Dasara celebration.

Navaratri is a festival to celebrate the victory of good over evil but the Mysuru Dasara's Open Street Festival held in Krishnaraja Boulevard on Saturday left many women and their families distraught.

Several women took to social media to air their grievances, and some did anonymously. Their tweets, Facebook and Instagram posts describe their horrendous experience of being inappropriately touched, stalked, sexually assaulted, molested and even man-handled in the dense crowd.

According to the Times of India (TOI), a mother-daughter duo was followed by a group of boys from the venue to their residence after allegedly misbehaving with them in the festival.

"A guy spanked my back so hard that I fell on my face. This happened when I was with my brother," read an anonymous post. Some posts also highlighted how even men were not spared and that they too were groped.

Many such incidents were posted on various social media platforms and on ‘Mysuru Memes’, a social media page which asked girls to share their stories.

Though these women have raised their voices on social media, they have not filed complaints with the police, who are now urging them to bring such incidents to their notice.

Higher Education Minister G T Devegowda, also the district in-charge minister of Mysuru, has directed the police commissioner to nab the culprits at the earliest, reported the New Indian Express.

“Such incidents must be reported so that we can bring wrongdoers to book,” Police Commissioner A Subramanyeswara Rao said. The commissioner claimed that the police haven't received any formal complaint so far.

DCP (law and order) N Vishnuvardhana said police have footage from CCTV cameras installed at the mobile command centre, handy cameras and body-mounted cameras.

"We haven’t noticed any such incidents in these footages. We have been informed about a bike-borne youth who created trouble in the festival and we're pursuing it," he said.

Open Street Festival event manager B S Prashanth, who is president of Mysuru Travel Agents Association, told TOI, “There are no formal complaints except posts of harassment on social media. If it has really happened, it has to be recorded on CCTVs installed at the venue.”

The organisers of the festival said they may hand over the footage of 60 CCTVs installed along a 500m stretch along Krishnaraja Boulevard to the police.

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Mysuru Dasara: women molested at Open Street fest

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