Dombivali youth’s murder brings eve-teasing menace into sharp focus again

Residents of Desalepada, where Vicchivora was murdered, take to patrolling the streets, seek police post

The murder of Dombivali resident Santosh Vicchivora (20), who confronted a group of boys allegedly passing lewd comments at his woman friend, has once again turned the spotlight on the ever-growing menace of eve-teasing.

Amboli residents Keenan Santos and Reuben Fernandes had fallen to similar violence on October 20 last year.

Keenan, Reuben and their friend Avinash Bali were exiting Amboli Bar and Grill with three woman friends, when a group of local youngsters started passing lewd comments. The trio took them on and in the fight that ensued, Keenan and Reuben were stabbed to death. Four people were arrested for the murders.

The deaths sparked off countrywide outrage, with the issue going viral on social networking websites.

Bali started a group in his friends' memory on Facebook, which has thousands of members who discuss the bane of eve teasing daily.

He went on to collect 1 lakh signatures and met home minister R R Patil, who promised strict action. The case was transferred to the fast-track court in Sewri.

"Not a day passes when I don't remember the courage shown by Keenan and Reuben on that fateful night," said Bali, who will be cross-examined on December 13.

He is the complainant as well as prime witness in the case.

"I urge Vicchivora's family to have faith in the system. They will surely get justice. Santosh has set a shining example," Bali said.

Keenan and Reuben's legacy is that each police station in western suburbs now has a dedicated anti-eve teasing squad.

"This year, we have registered more than 1,000 cases of eve-teasing, penalising thousands under IPC sections 110 and 117. We also rope in citizen volunteers to assist," said additional commissioner of police (west region) Vishwas Nangre-Patil.

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