KOLKATA: A first-year postgraduate student of Presidency University was allegedly molested outside her hostel in Salt Lake on Saturday afternoon while she had gone out to withdraw cash from an ATM located less than 50 metres from the hostel’s main gate at BF Block.
The 22-year-old woman’s tormentor was apparently wearing the uniform of an app-based food delivery aggregator and had a delivery bag on his back when he allegedly touched her inappropriately and sped away on his bike around 2pm.
The traumatised woman ran back to the hostel and narrated the incident to her roommates and seniors who took her to the Bidhannagar North police station, where she lodged a complaint. Her medical examination was conducted on Saturday night and an FIR was initiated on the basis of the complaint. However, none was arrested till late on Sunday.
“The woman couldn’t note down the registration number of the two-wheeler. However, we are checking CCTV footage of the area to locate the biker. We have also got in touch with the food delivery aggregator and sought the details of the delivery men who were at BF Block around that time on Saturday,” said Kunal Agarwal, deputy commissioner (headquarters) of Bidhannagar City Police.
The student, who hails from a south Bengal district, has been staying at the hostel for almost a year. Friends and hostelmates said the incident had left her shocked and shattered and senior officials of the university had come to the hostel on Saturday evening. They sought a speedy inquiry into the case.
Her friends said she had first gone to an ATM counter less than 50 metres from the hostel to withdraw money. Since the ATM had run out of cash she took an alley opposite the counter and walked towards the CAP island when the incident happened.
“She was checking her mobile phone while walking slowly along the side of the road when the man on a two-wheeler, who had a helmet on, touched her and sped away. She could identify the logo and uniform of the app-based food delivery aggregator but couldn’t note down the registration number,” said one of her hostel mates.
When she informed the fellow students and hostel officials, they took her to police station where she wrote down the complaint. Cops later took her to the Bidhannagar sub-divisional hospital for a medical examination. After the report was submitted at the police station, the complaint was converted into an FIR.
“I have been staying here for four years but this is the first time something like this happened. We have asked cops to arrest the culprit and improve vigil in the area to prevent a repeat of the incident,” said another hostel student.
(The victim’s identity has not been revealed to protect her privacy as per Supreme Court directives on cases related to sexual assault)