A gang of 10 bikers at night on June 17, 2019, allegedly harassed Miss India Universe 2010 Ushoshi Sengupta not once but twice by chasing her cab in south Kolkata.
The last round of harassment occurred after cops at a police station “refused to register her complaint” but, instead, referred her to the “right police station”.
The police from Bhowanipore arrived around 10-15 minutes later. It was past midnight by then and Sengupta decided to pursue the case on the next day and requested the cabby to drop her colleague and her off at their homes.
However, the nightmare was far from being over. “The boys had followed us till my colleague’s house and, right when we were dropping him at Lake Gardens, six of them on three bikes came and stopped the car. They pelted stones, smashing the window. They then dragged me out and tried to break my phone to delete the video. Luckily, local people heard my cries for help and came out. The boys then fled,” Sengupta recalled.
She then called her father and sister; her own residence was just a lane away. They called the police, who came and asked her to file an FIR at the Charu Market police station. It was 1.30 a.m. when she reached there but, instead of taking down her complaint, the police directed her to Bhowanipore police station where the first assault had occurred.
“I just gave up and started shouting at this point. There was no female police officer. The officer there finally took down my complaint after asking a lot of questions but refused to take the cabby’s complaint, stating that two FIR could not be taken for the same incident,” she said. Frustrated and hapless, she returned home. It was at 2.30 p.m. on June 18, 2019, that she posted the entire ordeal on Facebook along with a 20-second video clip.
An additional CP later called Sengupta and assured her of strong action against not just the accused but an inquiry into police refusal to take her complaint citing jurisdiction issues. “The probe has just begun and we have identified all the culprits. More arrests are likely and we will probe whether there was lack of adequate response from cops,” said a Lalbazar official.
The arrested were identified as Sheikh Rahit, Fardeen Khan, Sheikh Shabir Ali, Sheikh Gani, Sheikh Imran Ali, Sheikh Wasim and Atif Khan alias Md Samsad.
A preliminary inquiry revealed the cab had accidentally brushed against the bike, causing the riders to lose balance. One of the bikes’ rear view mirrors broke and the youths accosted cabby Tarak Debnath to demand compensation. At least two more bikes and an auto carrying more people landed there, leading to the sequence of events ending with the assault at Lake Gardens, officials said.
(With inputs from TOI)