Molested on bus, girl returns with cops to hunt culprits

Showing exemplary courage, a girl who was allegedly molested on a luxury bus from Indore to Mumbai, has set off in a hot pursuit of the alleged perpetrator by involving the police from Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh.

In her mid-20s, the victim had been groped after midnight on January 8 when the Hans Travels bus she boarded at Indore was passing through Dhule, Maharashtra. Initially scared, the software engineer did not raise an alarm or approach the police immediately on reaching Mumbai next morning, but returned in the evening with her room partner to lodge a complaint with the M R A Marg Police Station in Crawford Market where the bus had stopped.

The search for the alleged molester began soon after with the MRA Marg police accompanying her to the parked bus that was scheduled to return to Indore at night.

The driver and the cleaner were questioned because the victim had initially pointed fingers at the staff saying one of them misbehaved with her on the pretext of checking her ticket, but were allowed to return to Indore. She had a vague idea about his looks.

When the victim and her friend, both share a room in Chembur, persisted, the complaint was transferred to Shirpur Police Station in Dhule where an offence under section 354 of the IPC was registered. A team of MRA Marg Police Station took the victim and her friend to Dhule, where investigating officer S R Kulkarni and a constable joined them and they came to Indore on Saturday. Over Saturday and Sunday, the team, joined by the Indore police, went through details of each and every driver, conductor and helper on scores of buses run by the operator.

"We gave her full support as she personally scanned every photograph and went through the CCTV footage at the operator's office over two days," Kulkarni told The Indian Express over phone. The victim and her friend returned to Mumbai on Monday.

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