On Saturday night, Nilanjana Chatterjee sustained a serious injury while trying to save another woman from being attacked inside a running car by the driver. The incident happened on the Eastern Metropolitan Bypass at around 11:50 pm.
Chatterjee was in the car with her husband, Deep Satpathy, when they heard a woman sitting inside a Honda behind them, screaming for help. The woman was sitting beside the driver. Satpathy stopped their car in front of the Honda to block its path, and Chatterjee got out to help.
“My wife got down and rushed towards the car. Its driver pushed the woman out of the car and tried to speed away. The car hit my wife and the driver drove over her leg. Her shin bone broke”, Satpathy told the media.
He then called the police, which arrived promptly. “A police team arrived at the spot and an ambulance too was rushed to take my wife to the hospital. She will undergo a surgery”, he added.
The driver of the Honda had identified himself to the woman as Amitabha Basu, but the police suspected that the man might have concealed his actual name. The police tried to trace him till Sunday evening. They detained a man initially, but he was let go as he was proved innocent.
The woman filed a complaint of molestation. She said in her complaint that she got acquainted with the man less than a week ago, and the two of them decided to go out on Saturday evening. She stated that she had asked him to drop her home, but he refused, and then attacked her and tore her clothes. Since the police did not have the registration details of the car, the police were trying to identify the perpetrator using security camera footage.
Several citizens spoke out regarding the issue. Noted theater actor Debshankar Haldar said, “While on one hand the incident exposes the risk women face, it also shows how bravery can teach us a lesson. I salute this act of bravery.”
Incidents such as these are a grim reminder of the convoluted nature of violence against women, especially in situations where there is ambiguity regarding the relationship between the perpetrator and victim. Nilanjana Chatterjee and her husband’s involvement in stopping the violence is commendable – there is a culture of silence when it comes to violence against women, and people often refuse to get involved because they think it’s someone’s “personal matter”. Actions such as these encourage other people to stop violence when they see it, and that fosters a society where people help put an end to gender-based violence.
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