Man held for masturbating at US woman in Mumbai gets bail

25-year-old man, who was arrested by Colaba police for allegedly masturbating at an American woman, has been granted bail.

The Colaba police, on Wednesday, had arrested the man for the obscene act on the street in broad daylight on Monday.

The accused has been identified as Gopal Valmiki (25), a resident of Bheed Bunder, Colaba. He was picked up by cops at 1.30 am on Wednesday. Valmiki is a graduate and works in Share Bazaar. The accused will be produced in the court in the afternoon.

The incident led to huge outrage and shame after the woman very cleverly took a picture of the accused and posted it on Twitter, after which it was instantly picked up and retweeted several thousand times. Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis intervened and asked cops to look into the matter.

Man held for masturbating at US woman in Mumbai gets bail

Several teams from Colaba police station as well as the Crime Branch are investigating the case.

Sources also said that woman had to face molestation in public few days earlier as well. After Monday’s incident, her patience ran out, and she finally decided to make the photo public.

During the shameful act, the man allegedly even tried to come near the woman, after which she made desperate calls for help. Two alert locals intervened and caught the man. He, however, escaped while being taking to Colaba police station.

The woman later posted a tweet (with the accused’s image), which read, “Please RT- this man just masturbated at me on the street in broad daylight. Ran away after a confrontation.”

Initially, the woman did not approach the Colaba police but later in the evening after massive debate and outrage on social sites, police officials got in touch with her and asked her to file a formal complaint. On Tuesday afternoon, police officials reached her residence to record her statement, after which a FIR was registered in the matter.

“The accused has been booked under section 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult modesty of a woman) of the IPC,” a police official informed.

Source: Mid Day

I was only urinating, says Mumbai youth accused of flashing foreigner

After he was arrested for allegedly masturbating at an American woman in broad daylight, the 25-year-old says he was only answering nature’s call and the woman had misunderstood his intentions.

After an American woman tweeted about a youth who allegedly masturbated at her in broad daylight near Colaba causeway, the accused has come forward with his own version of events “I was urinating there. When I finished, the foreign woman came from behind and saw me zip up my shorts. Our eyes met and suddenly she started screaming,” said the 25-year-old, who was arrested in the wee hours of Wednesday, after which he was granted bail.

I was only urinating, says Mumbai youth accused of flashing foreigner - See more at: http://www.mid-day.com/articles/i-was-only-urinating-says-mumbai-youth-accused-of-flashing-foreigner/16469165#sthash.c3OQHw6J.dpuf
The woman posted this picture of the accused on Twitter, sparking an outrage and catching the attention of the CM, who pushed the cops to find and arrest him in two days

He added that the whole incident was a misunderstanding and he had been defamed and falsely implicated. mid-day had highlighted the episode that took place on Monday morning, after which the woman tweeted a picture of the youth along with the allegation. She tweeted, “Please RT-this man just masturbated at me on the street in broad daylight.

Ran away after a confrontation.” The post sent Twitter into overdrive and even caught the attention of the Chief Minister, who intervened and ensured that the very next day, the Colaba police registered an FIR in the matter under section 509 (Word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) of the IPC.

With intense pressure to perform, the cops circulated the image of the youth on WhatsApp until they discovered his identity Gopal Valmiki, a resident of Colaba. Two days later, the police arrested Valmiki and presented him in court, when he was granted bail.

Valmiki’s family maintains that he is innocent. “We are a family of seven, and half are females. Our brother could not have done this. He is an educated man and works in the share market. He even got married a few months ago,” his siblings told mid-day.

As Valmiki tells the tale, he had gone on a morning walk and needed to attend to nature’s call. There was no public toilet there, so he was forced to relieve himself between two parked cars. It was as he was zipping up that the woman spotted him and began to scream.
His brother added, “Two passers-by caught my brother as the woman began screaming. They decided to take my brother to the police station. On the way there, my brother explained to the woman that it was a clear case of misunderstanding. My brother never tried to escape. The woman let him off near Electric House in Colaba.”
His sister, in turn, said it was unfair of the woman to publicly malign Valmiki, instead of filing a police complaint against him. Claiming the family was unaware of the incident until much later, she added, “The woman let off my brother and later posted a picture of him on Twitter.

She should have gone to the police station and filed a complaint instead of defaming my brother publicly. Then because of the pressure, she filed the complaint later. If we had known about the incident earlier, we would have gone to the police station ourselves.”

“We have been staying in Colaba since childhood, and foreigners regularly visit this area, but my brother has never been involved in any such act in the past. People are calling it perverted and shameful. I want to tell everyone that my brother is innocent,” she added.

Finding Valmiki

After the public outrage and the CM’s intervention in the matter, there was huge pressure on cops to arrest the accused. A police source said, “As we had no clue about the accused, we made a special WhatsApp group, connecting informers from residential associations and committees. We kept adding more and more people to the ‘Eyes and Ears’ group and sent everyone the accused’s photo until someone identified him.”

Source: Mid Day

US woman takes to Twitter to nab man who masturbated at her in South Mumbai

In an incident that could further damage Mumbai’s reputation for being unsafe for women, an American national tweeted the photo of a youth who allegedly masturbated at her in broad daylight in south Mumbai.

The incident occurred on Monday morning at around 8.59 am near Colaba Causeway. The woman managed to click the man’s picture before he fled the spot after she confronted him. She later tweeted the photo.

An American woman’s accusation and tweet, which went viral on Monday morning, led the police to launch a hunt for him.

The police are yet to decide which IPC Section is to be invoked in the matter.

US woman takes to Twitter to nab man who masturbated at her in South Mumbai

According to the woman, the man allegedly masturbated in front of her and ran away from the spot when she confronted him. The foreign national approached the police and narrated the harrowing incident.

Copspeak

Speaking to mid-day, Senior Inspector Vinay Gadgil from Colaba police station said the woman did not visit the police station after the incident. But when they discovered about the incident, cops contacted her. He added that the woman told the police that she would meet them on Tuesday, following which an FIR could be filed based on her complaint.

“I heard a woman shouting, so I came out of my car. She was with the accused when she sought directions for the police station. I showed here where the police station was located,” said an eyewitness.

“Based on a verbal complaint by the victim, the police have initiated a search for the accused. However, we are yet to record the statement of the complainant to know what exactly happened. We will get a clear picture only when we record her statement,” said Vinay Gadgil, Senior Inspector of Colaba Police Station.

“As the victim’s statement has not been recorded yet, I will not be able to say that under which (IPC) Section the accused would be booked,” added Gadgil.

The incident came to public notice when the American woman tweeted about it, and her tweet soon went viral on social networking sites like Tweeter and Facebook.

The victim also mentioned two men, who where passing-by and came to her help when she raised an alarm. She also tweeted the image again, this time to clarify the fact that the man approaching the camera was the accused and the other two were the Good Samaritans.

US woman takes to Twitter to nab man who masturbated at her in South Mumbai

To get clues about the identity of the accused, police are going through a photo which the victim had managed to click, said Gadgil.

(With PTI Inputs)

Source: Mid Day

Activists demand gender neutral laws, Commission for Men

Press Trust of India | Mumbai | Men’s rights activists today demanded setting up of a national-level commission for men on the lines of the National Commission for Women (NCW) to safeguard their interests.

The demand was made when men’s rights activists from across the country gathered in suburban Bhayander here today at a meeting organised by an NGO Save Indian Family.

Kumar Jahgirdar, who spearheads the movement for gender-neutral laws, and also runs an NGO– Childrens’ Right Initiative for Shared Parenting (CRISP), said, “Though men pay more than 82 per cent of the country’s Income Tax, no government has ever bothered to address their problems. Therefore, we demand a dedicated ministry for men’s welfare and also a men’s commission on the lines of NCW.”

It is an irony that while there are dedicated ministries for even animals and forests but none for men, he added.

Swarup Sarkar, president of the Save Indian Family (SIF), an NGO which works to promote family and marital harmony and also advocates gender neutral laws, said, “Now there is an urgent need to act against those women, who file false complaints (against husbands) with the protection of women-centric laws.”

Interestingly, a number of women were also present at today’s event, who also vociferously demand setting up of a commission for men.

Barkha Trehan, a businesswomen from Delhi and also attached with SIF Delhi Chapter, said, “As many as fifty laws are made for women, but not a single for men. The voices of 50 per cent population are being completely unheard in this democratic country, which cannot be ignored now.”

“Now, government should wake up and have an assessment of the impact of only women-biased laws as 64,000 (citing National Crime Records Bureau data) are killed by their wives nationally,” she said.

The meeting in Bhayander will continue till Sunday and activists will pass resolutions seeking changes in laws, which will then be handed over to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to “save Men” and treat them as equal citizens.

Source: Business Standard

NGOs want shared parenting made compulsory for children’s welfare

NGOs want shared parenting made compulsory for children's welfare CRISP, a Bangalore-based NGO which is pursuing the issue, along with other groups in different parts of the country, has written to the prime minister, seeking his intervention to ensure implementation of the Law Commission recommendation — making shared parenting compulsory.

Children deprived of access to fathers in a custodial battle suffer from several psychological disorders while growing up, said members of different NGOs gathered in the city on Thursday to talk about the need to make shared parenting compulsory. Several studies conducted by the groups pursuing to implement the ‘shared parenting plan’ show that such children are more prone to committing suicide, dropping out of school or indulging in juvenile crimes.

CRISP, a Bangalore-based NGO which is pursuing the issue, along with other groups in different parts of the country, has written to the prime minister, seeking his intervention to ensure implementation of the Law Commission recommendation — making shared parenting compulsory.

National president of CRISP Kumar Jahgirdar, while addressing the media and non-custodian parents, said, “There are lakhs of cases pending in various cities and district courts in our country for several years. The delay in deciding in child custody matters is leading to children being deprived of fathers’ love and affection in more that 98% cases, thus leading to a fatherless society.”

At the meet, where several non-custodian parents spoke about the urgent need for shared parenting, said that in foreign countries there are laws which prevent parental alienation.

CRISP member Manoj Gandhi said, “Efforts need to be taken right at the beginning; if a child gets love from both parents, litigation will come down drastically in family courts. China, the US and Canada have adopted joint parenting system.”

CRISP has demanded that family courts, within six months, dispose of all child custody related matters and effectively use parenting plans as a mandatory procedure in courts. It also wants that substantial and significant parenting time be granted to both parents on a continuous basis, and that judiciary take action against parental alienation and non-compliance or interference in court-ordered visitation, done with the purpose of alienating the other parent.

Pending cases

12,000 in Maharashtra
20,000 in Karnataka
16,000 in Kerala
28,000 in Gujarat

Source: DNA News

NGO to take up men’s cause on Independence Day

Tribune News Service – Jalandhar, August 12 | This Independence Day, a group of 50 NGOs, under the banner of Save Indian Family (SIF) and more than 180 activists across the nation will assemble in Mumbai for the advocacy of gender neutral laws.

The seventh national confluence has been earmarked to evolve a strategy for “protecting vulnerable men from laws facing undue harassment due to heavily loaded legal provisions against men.”

“The national confluence aims to evolve a consensus from nationwide volunteers to plan initiatives to empathise with the deteriorating situation of men on the legal front, health care and social status, to address men in distress through various channels, campaigns, creating of groups and establishing respect for men,” said members of the Insaaf Awareness Movement, including Kunal Aggarwal, president, Kamal Sharma, secretary, Vikas Madaan and Bharat Chauhan, the other activists from Jalandhar.

The members believe that men have been marginalised like never before. Apart from gender neutral laws, the group will also discuss the issue of suicide being committed by them. “Suicides exhibit social trauma and mental status of men. The NCRB 2014 illustrates the vulnerable situation that men are facing in the present scenario. Every 5.9 minutes, a men is committing suicide in India with family disputes as the single largest reason for male suicide,” they said in a press note.

Source: The Tribune

Young love often reported as rape in our ‘cruel society’

Young love often reported as rape in our 'cruel society'

“I lay the blame for a lot of this at the door of Parliament,” lawyer and leading women’s rights activist Vrinda Grover said.

In January 2013, Seema (name changed), who had moved to Delhi from rural Bihar with her brother went to the Hanuman temple on Delhi’s Panchkuian Road with 19-year-old Sameer (name changed). He put vermilion on her forehead, the couple embraced and now married in their own eyes, they ran away to Sameer’s native village in Samastipur. By May, Seema, now pregnant, was in a court-mandated shelter home for young women visited only by Sameer when he got bail, accused of kidnapping and raping his young love.

The content of 600 court judgements analysed by The Hindu and interviews with complainants, judges and police officers illuminate for this first time the real stories behind the headlines on the national capitals rape statistics.

As Part 1 of the series showed, one-fifth of the trials ended because the complainant did not appear or turned hostile. Of the cases fully tried, over 40% dealt with consensual sex, usually involving the elopement of a young couple and the girl’s parents subsequently charging the boy with rape. Another 25% dealt with “breach of promise to marry”. Of the 162 remaining cases, men preying on young children in slums was the most common type of offence.

These numbers too do not on their own illuminate the stories behind these numbers; for this, The Hindu interviewed judges, prosecutors, police officers, complainants, accused, lawyers and activists most of them under condition of anonymity because they were not free to publicly discuss confidential rape trials. What emerged were heart-rending stories and the role of the police and judiciary.

‘Teenage love drama’

Of the 460 cases dealing with sexual assault in Delhi’s district courts in 2013 that went to a full trial, 174 involved or seemed to involve runaway young couples like Seema and Sameer, The Hindu found. This was especially true for inter-caste and inter-religious couples.

Across the system, there was some amount of concern and sympathy for these consenting couples, especially among judges. Ruling on Seema and Sameer’s case in October 2013, Additional Sessions Judge Dharmesh Sharma said, “The instant case racks [sic] up a perennial problem being faced by all of us on the judicial side: what should be the judicial response to elopement cases like the instant one… This life drama is enacted, played and repeated everyday in the Police Stations and Courts…” Of the case before him, Judge Sharma noted, “This case is a teenage love drama where our dysfunctional cruel society and the justice system have separated the two love birds and have taught them a bitter lesson.”

“We get innumerable such cases in Lucknow too,” Seema Mishra, lawyer and women’s rights activists with Association for Advocacy and Legal Initiatives (AALI), said. AALI has been at the forefront of the pushing for women’s right to choose sexual relationships, which is at the heart of the 174 cases The Hindu looked at. In case after case, as well as in interviews with The Hindu, the behaviour of the girls’ parents was shocking: they arrive at the hotel the couple has eloped to and drag them home, they beat and even injure the couple (in one case breaking the girl’s spine), they threaten her even with acid, they force her to submit to invasive medical tests and in many cases, even to an abortion.

In Judge Sharma’s case, he was able to acquit Sameer since Seema was over the age of consent for sex at the time – 16 years. However now that the Criminal Law Amendment Act (2013) is in force, the age of consent now stands at 18. “I lay the blame for a lot of this at the door of Parliament,” lawyer and leading women’s rights activist Vrinda Grover said. “By raising the age of consent, they have ensured such cases of consensual sex being called ‘rape’ are just going to multiply.”

Promise of marriage

Judges, prosecutors and police officers tended to be far less sympathetic towards the other major area of concern – the 109 cases which deal with “breach of promise to marry”. The argument used by prosecutors in these cases is that if a woman had sexual relations with a man only under a false promise of marriage by him, her consent was not free as it was obtained through deceit. However in most such cases, showing that the accused never intended to marry the complainant becomes hard to prove, unless he is already married to someone else and hiding it.

“You might say it is wrong, but when the girl’s father comes to the police station and says she has been ruined, a policeman will tend to take the father’s side,” one senior Delhi police explained. More often than not, he said, the FIR was a way to force a man attempting to call off a marriage into going through with it; in a third of such cases The Hindu looked at, the woman deposed in court that they were now married and hence she no longer accused him of rape.

“Your family discovers you have been having relations with a man for five years and now he has called it off because of pressure from his family,” one complainant who lost her case explained. “Before you know what is happening, your father and uncle have gone to the police station and you are forced into this. Everyone tells you that if you do not go along with it, you will never get married,” she said.

“Frankly I think this shouldn’t be counted as rape. It comes from a patriarchal context, from the premium placed on a woman’s chastity. But if we want to talk of women’s agency, we cannot have it both ways,” Ms. Grover said, a sentiment shared by several other feminist lawyers.

Rape as we know it

The 161 remaining cases look a lot closer to what is conventionally referred to as rape. Nearly half of these involved an adult neighbour preying on a minor child of a neighbour or a vulnerable woman sleeping outdoors or alone at home, most took place in slums, and had a conviction rate of over 75%. “Mothers like me have to work all day and are not able to keep an eye on our children,” one mother who secured a conviction in the rape of her three-year-old by a neighbour, said in tears. The medical investigation and courtroom terrified her, the woman said, but her family supported her.

In such cases, the consistent testimony of the complainant played the most important role. Judges were usually willing to convict in the absence of medical evidence, and in one case, Additional Sessions Judge Renu Bhatnagar convicted a man of raping a mentally challenged minor girl even though she was unable to depose in court apart from nodding. However in at least two cases where the complainant admitted that she met the accused alone voluntarily but did not consent to sex, judges disbelieved the woman’s testimony.

The judgement in the December 16 gang-rape formed part of The Hindu’s study and was notable in its length, detail and unprecedented extent of medical evidence. It was one of only 12 rapes heard in 2013 that were alleged to have been perpetrated by strangers, and all of the others pre-dated it.

Conclusion

The stories behind Delhi’s sexual assault statistics indicate that the image created by police statistics alone might be a misleading one.

Source: The Hindu