In a shocking homophobic act, a youth was set upon and his chin broken at Vasai Road railway station around midnight on Friday. When DNA visited the victim at Cardinal Gracias hospital, he was still in shock.
Having worked till late in office, the 28-year-old pharma company technician took a train around 10.45pm from Dadar and reached Vasai Road an hour later. “What happened in the next two hours will haunt me all my life. It keeps flashing in front of me whenever I shut my eyes,” he wept.
Once at the station, he went to the washroom on platform 2 to relieve himself. He was then confronted by two men. “They began raining blows at me and shouted: ‘Homogiri karne toilet mein aata hai aur abhi sharif banta hai’, (You indulge in homosexual acts in the toilet and now you are trying to be decent). They pinned me down near the bridge and hit my head so badly that there was blood all over from the chin.”
Meanwhile, a GRP constable spoke to the victim’s attackers. “After some nods and pleasantries with them, he left.”
The victim’s phone, wallet and laptop were snatched away by them. They then said that they would tell his parents that he was gay. When he told told them that his family already knew, they were infuriated and the beating intensified. “I was told they’d let me go if I paid them Rs25,000. I was then taken to the SBI ATM outside the station,” he recounts.
“Once I paid them, they returned my laptop and cell phone. While putting me on an auto, one of them put his arm around my shoulder and said sorry.”
Incidentally, the guard at the ATM, Prakash Ghagre, confirmed toDNA on Sunday saying, “Some policemen had brought a man along. They said he’d been attacked and robbed and so they got him there.”
The victim’s father was given a written complaint but the GRP has made only a station diary entry of “assault by unknown persons”. The station in-charge, S Kshirsagar, said, “We need more time to investigate before saying anything.”
Meanwhile, gay rights activist Ashok Row Kavi promised legal help for the victim through the Hamsafar Trust. “The railway police commissioner or a senior officer appointed by him should do the enquiry,” Kavi told DNA.
Leave a Reply