Delhi police set a new standard of callousness and insensitivity last week when two police officers – one in a police control van and other on a police control motorbike ignored an ongoing incident of assault and refused to offer aid to the victims, one of whom was Dr V Mohini Giri, the 76-year-old former Chairperson of National Commission for Women. Dr Giri recounts her harrowing experience

By Mohini Giri

After a very tiring day on 23rd August 2014, Saturday, I decided to get out for some fresh air outside my office premises, SHUBHAM, at Qutub Institutional Area. I opted to take a route on the pathway of Sanjay Van in my car which was driven by my driver.

I had reached just the corner of the office building; I saw a sight that was just beyond the moral and humanist value of an individual. What I saw was a shameful assault of a girl by a gang of young boys. As I went closer to really understand the situation what I witnessed just shook me to the ground.

The young boys were trying to molest her by tearing off her clothes and they were also beating her. I immediately tried to shield her with my own body. The next minute, I saw a PCR van just pass by and I tried to stop the van. The driver came got out and saw the whole situation. To my surprise, he went back to report to a higher official sitting in the van. I was told by the driver then, that “Sahib ko kahin jaldi jana hai abhi main aapki koi madad nai kar sakta.”

Suddenly I saw a woman in her mid 30’s coming towards me. She came closer to me and started punching me hard from left, right and centre. Being a 76-year-old woman and being on the medical support, I was hurt very badly with the internal as well as external injuries. There were about 50 onlookers. None of them including my driver could come to my rescue. Rather, they were mere spectators and cheerful audiences witnessing this irony of an old woman. The trouble of the girl was now the trauma of an old woman. Again I saw a PCR motorbike coming. I tried stopping it. When they stopped, I told the police officials to stop this fight and take the boys and everyone along. The policeman started yelling; addressing me as ‘Budiya’ (old woman) he told me that if I have any serious grievances I must report it by filing an FIR at the police station. This raises one question in my mind, who will rescue anyone in this country if we have to face such harassment?

I went straight to my son’s place. He provided me the first aid and some medicine for my heart. I am still suffering from the trauma of the hard punches and the attempt to tear off my clothes. What country do we live in? Where is the law and order? How and when will the police reforms happen? How can person who attempts a rescue be safe guarded in the biggest polity of India? How will the crimes ever stop? These are my questions to you!!

In my medical checkup the ECG was abnormal and now I am proceeding to my cardiologist.