After Kolkata-based model-actor Ushoshi Sengupta alleged that she, her friend and their Uber driver were chased and harassed by a mob on Monday night in the heart of the city, seven people have been arrested. Ms Sengupta, winner of the Miss India title in 2010, had narrated the ordeal in a Facebook post and shared a video she recorded on her mobile phone.
Ms Sengupta, 30, said she was returning home from a five-star hotel with a colleague when their Uber cab was hit by a few men on motorcycles near Elgin in central Kolkata. She said the group stopped their Uber cab, dragged the driver out and assaulted him. The incident happened around 11:40 pm.
Ms Sengupta, in her post, said she then shouted and called the police while filming the incident. She alleged that policemen on duty kept directing her to different police stations, citing “jurisdiction” issues.
“My Uber driver was beaten up and I stood up for him,” she told NDTV. “When I started taking a video and asked them why they were not wearing their helmets, why two to three of them were on a bike, another guy came and tried to stop me from taking their video.”
A 17-second clip recorded by Ms Sengupta shows three young men knocking at the car as she asks them where their helmet is.
She claimed in her post that officers of the nearest police station, in Maidan area, initially did not come for help despite her repeated requests. The Maidan police station is within 50 metres of the spot. She was told that the area where they were stopped falls under the jurisdiction of another police station. “This is when I broke down I begged them to come or else the boys would have killed the driver,” Ushoshi Sengupta wrote on Facebook.
When the policemen finally intervened, the “boys” pushed the officers and ran away, her post said.
The ordeal did not end there as six of them allegedly followed Ms Sengupta and her colleague and threw stones at the car and tried to drag her out. She claimed the accused tried to break her phone and delete the video she had earlier recorded. The alleged assault stopped after local people came out.
“That spot where the incident happened is the place that my sister, father and friends pass through. It could have happened to anybody. I had to stand up stand up for the driver when he started getting beaten up,” Ushoshi Sengupta told NDTV.
Ushoshi Sengupta also alleged that officers at the Charu Market police station, close to where the second incident of manhandling took place, refused to take any complaint and advised her to, instead, approach the Bhawanipore police station. “After raising a lot of questions, the officer took my complaint but refused to take the Uber driver’s complaint, stating that two FIRs can’t be taken for the same complaint,” she wrote on Facebook.
The police said, on the orders of the Kolkata police chief, they have initiated an inquiry into the alleged non-registration of a First Information of the driver.
“Those arrested seem to be locals who have been violating traffic rules for quite some time. We are hopeful of nabbing the others from the CCTV footage of the surrounding areas.”a senior police officer was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.