KOLKATA: In an unprecedented incident of moral policing, a young couple was forced out of a packed Kolkata Metro Railway coach by fellow middle-aged commuters and thrashed at Dum Dum metro station for hugging inside the coach on Monday night.
The first-hand narrative of an eyewitness along with photographs clicked by him were published in a Bengali daily on Tuesday. It stated that the incident sparked after an old man objected to the hugging of a young couple inside the metro coach near Chandni Chowk metro station in central Kolkata and culminated seven stations later in the mob violence in Dum Dum.
"While the couple tried to persuade that they hugged to protect the woman from groping, the aged man refused to listen and argued that they were ‘polluting’ the atmosphere and suggested that they should instead visit a bar in Park Street. The boy gave prompt answers to the aged man’s remarks and smirked when he asked whether he thought he was Salman Khan. The other middle-aged male passengers got irked by the smirk and warned him of ‘dire consequences’ upon arrival of Dum Dum station," the narrative read.
"When the train entered Dum Dum, the 5-6 middle-aged men dragged the couple to the platform and thrashed the boy black and blue. When the girl tried to save him, she was beaten up too by the irate men. However, finally, youth and women intervened and rescued the couple and escorted them out of the station," the narrative added.
However, police said they could not take any action as the couple had not filed a complaint.
Nevertheless, as soon as the report got published, youth took to the social media to criticise the act of the middle-aged men with some questioning about people’s morality and conscience when they keep mum when a woman is teased, groped or molested in full public glare in public transport throughout West Bengal.
A group of students held protests at Dum Dum station against the incident on Tuesday showcasing placards against moral policing.
Speaking out against the incident, noted author Taslima Nasreen tweeted: "A young couple embraced in Kolkata metro. It made a bunch of frustrated old losers angry. They beat them up. Scenes of hatred are allowed. Scenes of love are considered obscene."
A young couple embraced in Kolkata metro. It made a bunch of frustrated old losers angry. They beat them up. Scenes of hatred are allowed. Scenes of love are considered obscene. pic.twitter.com/Jv4zNaMDe8— taslima nasreen (@taslimanasreen) May 1, 2018
Speaking to The New Indian Express, West Bengal Women’s Commission chairperson Leena Ganguly said: "The accused might believe that hugging in public space might be against Indian culture and they could have protested. But, they have no right to take law into their own hands. I request the victim woman to approach us so that we can take the case forward."