Cases of eve-teasing on rise in Dombivali, say kin of slain youth

The family of Santosh Vicchivora, who was killed by a group of five teens in Dombivali on Monday, has claimed that the menace of eve-teasing was on the rise in the area. Vicchivora had confronted the teens when the latter allegedly passed lewd remarks at his female friend. Police had arrested the assailants later.

Vicchivora's kin said in the absence of a police chowkie in the Navneet Nagar area only encouraged offenders.

"Cases of eve-teasing have been increasing for the past six to eight months. The Manpada police station, which is the nearest, is located close to the highway. There is little police presence in the vicinity, which means miscreants have a free run in the area," said Santosh's aunt, Malati Vikmani.

Of the arrested accused, Pankaj Pal (18) has been remanded in police custody till December 10, while the others have been sent to the juvenile home in Bhiwandi.

Malati said that sending them to a juvenile home was not the solution. "Those boys are barely 16 and already riding bikes without licence. They have also assaulted people. By the time they are released from the remand home, they would have become hardened criminals. They should be sent to jail so that it sets an example for others," she said.

Meanwhile, Santosh's friend said the entire episode escalated before she even realised what was happening. "I was talking on the phone and one of the boys said something. I could not quite hear what he had said. However, Santosh went over to confront them and the next thing I know, there was a brawl. Santosh would not quarrel with others. I believe he had good reason to confront them," she said.

Her mother said several girls from the area had complained of eve-teasing in the past.

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