Indian Olympian Krishna Poonia has called recent reports of sexual assaults in Bangalore “sickening”, and described preventing a similar attack.
She told the BBC she was in Rajasthan’s Churu district on 1 January when she spotted three men trying to molest two teenage girls at a railway crossing.”I chased and caught of one of them, and then helped the girls file a complaint,” she said.She added the incident showed that women were not safe even in busy areas.
“I was shocked and horrified when I saw these men trying to molest the girls in front of so many people at a busy railway crossing. Nobody did anything until I got out of the car and chased them myself,” she said.
“The girls were traumatised and shaken after the incident.The girls didn’t even want to file a complaint because they were worried that their families would stop them from going out if the incident became public”.The athlete said however, that she was glad that “at least one family decided to file a case”
Inspector Gopiram told BBC that Ms Poonia had brought the girl to his police station, adding that they had started an investigation into the case, and the men would be charged soon.”We thank Ms Poonia for intervening. We always urge the public to be vigilant and report such incidents to the police,” he said.
Ms Poonia said such incidents happened because “some men treat women as lesser beings”.”Some men only believe in objectifying women. They think women are only made for objectifying, and when they get an opportunity to attack, they don’t think twice,” she said.”It’s so ironic that two young women won India’s two medals at the Rio Games and the whole country celebrated, and then we also recently witnessed horrific scenes in Bangalore,” she added.
Several woman have alleged that they were molested by mobs of men in Bangalore on New Year’s Eve.”I felt sick after seeing some pictures of women crying. This happened in one of India’s biggest cities. You can’t even imagine what happens in small towns and rural areas,” she said.”Honestly, I don’t even know if there is a way out. I guess each of us has to do what we can to stop these incidents,” she added.