The woman tweeted how she was asked to write complaint outside police station. (Representational Photo)
An autorickshaw driver working with Uber has been arrested for allegedly molesting a college student in Chennai, police said today. The student had yesterday put out a Twitter thread recounting the trauma and the difficulty in registering a police complaint.
The incident occurred on Sunday night when the journalism student and her friend were returning to a hotel. "An Uber Auto driver named Selvam sexually assaulted me by pressing my right breast...," she wrote on Twitter, tagging Tamil Nadu Police. She said they tried to stop him but he managed to escape.
She further said there was no response when she dialled the control room on 100. Based on someone's call, a policeman came to the hotel in 30 minutes later, but asked her to wait until morning to file an FIR as there was no woman officer at the police station.
When she went to the Semmencheri police station, she wrote, "The in-charge did not let us enter as women are not allowed during night." She was asked to write down her complaint on a plain piece of paper outside the station.
Speaking to NDTV, Deputy Commissioner of Police Josh K Thangiah said, "The man has been arrested and vehicle seized.
To a question about the women's struggle to register a complaint, a senior officer said, "Women aren't allowed at night. This is part of women safety. At night, woman police personnel too wouldn't be in the station."
The student did, however, later compliment the police for "necessary actions". Uber India had replied to her tweets and asked her to share details.
But the auto driver disputes her version, a police officer said: "He claims she was under the influence of alcohol and snatched away his phone; and when he tried to get it back he mistakenly touched her."
"We've registered the FIR on the basis of the student's complaint only," the officer added.
The student said the driver was lying: "CCTV images are there to get to the truth. As my friend couldn't pay cash, I paid using my phone. This assault took place when I stepped out of the auto."