Kolkata: A young couple was harassed on the Kolkata metro, pushed off the train and then thrashed by a mob, allegedly because they were "standing too close". In images recorded on a mobile phone late on Monday night, the woman is seen trying to shield the man with her body as a group of men surrounds them with hands and fist raised. The man was kicked and punched. The woman, according to the passenger who took the photographs on his mobile phone, was also not spared.
- The couple was pushed out and thrashed at the Dum Dum metro station
- Woman seen trying to shield the man as a group of men hit him
- The group of attackers included middle-aged and elderly passengers
A group of about 50 students from colleges across Kolkata protested outside the Dum Dum Metro station this evening against moral policing. "Leave the kids alone," said one of the protestors. Another college student quoted Bob Dylan and said, "Your old road is rapidly aging. Please get out of the new one if you can't lend your hand, the times they are a changing."
The young man and woman took the metro around 10 pm. One witness said there was no PDA or public display of affection at all. A senior citizen bumped into them while boarding the very crowded coach and an argument erupted and flared up.
Then came the heckling as others travelling in the coach also joined the fight.
"Get a room" and "go to a club" was shouted at the couple.
When a stop came along - the Dum Dum metro station - the couple was pushed out and beaten by a group that included middle-aged and elderly passengers.
Witnesses say some passengers from another coach cut in and dragged the two to safety.
Photos of the incident were shared online and soon reached the office of Metro Rail.
According to sources, Metro officials have inspected additional footage but have not found any signs of the assault on their CCTVs. Railway police at Dum Dum say they did not know about any incident on the platform, say sources.
Also, as no complaint has been filed with the Metro so far, the authorities are not sure what to do next. They are approaching police for help.
The incident has divided Kolkata. While some say public show of affection is not acceptable, other Metro regulars say it is commonplace on late night trains. Most often people don't bother couples. But once somebody passes a comment or throws a taunt, a herd mindset seems to take over.