When a 16-year-old girl in Madhyamgram, the northern outskirts of Kolkata, was returning home alone on Monday evening, two drunken men tried to molest her but what they got in return might not have crossed their minds.
As is usually the case, no passersby came to the rescue of girl, however the brave teenager was able to deal with her molesters effectively – a punch in the face, couple of solid kicks and a barrage of punches all over the face of two men.
The teenager has been learning Karate for a year because of increasing violence towards women in the area according to a Times of India report.
Back from Karate class, the 16-year-old girl clad in a track suit was spotted by two men on Monday evening.
“They were on bicycles. They suddenly sped towards me and pushed me hard. I fell down. They were drunk and hurled filthy abuses at me. When I protested, they grabbed my hand and tried to drag me away,” she told TOI.
The teenager sprung at them. “I punched one of them in the temple and the other in the face. The first one staggered back, shocked. The other one fell down, groaning and holding his face in his hands. I could see blood dripping through his fingers. The first one tried to punch me. I blocked it and threw a front kick. He collapsed in a heap. The other one again came at me, and I hit him with a barrage of punches to his face and temples. Both of them were writhing on the ground.”
After getting a severe thrashing, the bruised and battered duo staggered to their feet and pedalled away on their bicycles, threatening to teach her a lesson.
Local resident Shankari Haldar, who witnessed her in action, told TOI, “I was stunned by her courage. She kicked and punched the youths and they fell flat. But it is unfortunate that they managed to flee. Other girls should also learn martial arts to keep such criminals at bay.”
According to the girl, the duo, who tried to molest her are habitual offenders from a group of five that hangs around Doltala area, harassing any woman who passes by.
“They had been teasing me and my friend for the past few weeks. I had complained against them to local people but no one dared speak a word against them. They are a terror for women,” she said. “I told myself that if it crossed a line, I would fight back.”
The girl has filed an FIR and police say they have identified one of the accused but the duo is still on the run.
While it’s encouraging to find a girl hitting out at her molesters alone, the apathy of passersby on the road, who witness acts of assault and harassment and do nothing is alarming.