A retired school teacher named Ashwath Narayan, aged 61, who was accused of sexually harassing women at the Lulu mall in Bengaluru, turned himself at a local court on November 2. According to the police, Narayan surrendered at around 5 p.m. before the third Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (ACMM) Court. Narayan, residing in Basaveshwara Nagar, had previously served as the headmaster at Sri Virabhadra High School in Dasarahalli.
A video that circulated on social media from October 29 showed Narayan inappropriately touching women, which led to his widely reported surrender to authorities. The video was shared by a social media user who found the man's behaviour in the mall suspicious. The user's camera then caught the man making this move publicly, in what could be seen as a kids' playing zone of a mall.
After the video went viral, Bengaluru police launched a probe, and an FIR was also registered at Magadi police station.
Harassment Caught On Camera
On October 29, when everyone was out enjoying their weekend at malls and public places, it seemed like women continued to remain unsafe wherever they were.
According to the video posted on an Instagram account, this incident of sexual harassment took place on October 29 at 6:30 pm at a game zone of Lulu Mall in Bengaluru. The video shows a man deliberately touching a young woman from behind in a crowded area.
Yashwanth Jayaprakash, who was a visitor at the mall and recorded the video, informed the media that initially he believed that Narayan's actions might have been accidental touches. However, in the next 10–15 minutes, he observed Narayan deliberately approaching a group of women to harass them. Jayaprakash then shared the video with the mall's security personnel.
The video of a young woman being sexually harassed by an elderly man at a mall in #Bengaluru went viral on social media following which the #BengaluruPolice began a probe.— Hate Detector 🔍 (@HateDetectors) October 30, 2023
The video shows the accused man deliberately touching the back of the woman at the games zone in the… pic.twitter.com/eOSf3prNR8
K. K. Shereef from Lulu International Shopping Malls filed a complaint with the Magadi Road police. Although the police successfully identified Narayan, he fled after locking up his residence.
A case has been registered under sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), including 294 (related to obscene acts and songs), 354A (pertaining to sexual harassment and its punishment), and 509 (concerning words, gestures, or actions intended to insult the modesty of a woman).
A similar incident took place in Bengaluru earlier when a woman reported that her Rapido driver allegedly masturbated during the ride despite her requests to stop the bike. The driver was also accused of sending the woman inappropriate text messages after the ride.
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