“Akdom chup! Toke kidnap kore rape kore debo” (Shut up, or I’ll rape you). Uber cab driver Santu Parmanik used exactly these threatening words and thought he would be seeing helplessness in a woman’s eyes. What happened was the complete opposite . Because the target he had chosen was a 27 year old fearless woman who didn’t allow herself to become a victim. She fought him back or rather beat him up thanks to her self-defence skills.
“I won’t be a victim and be found dead in the bushes by the roadside,” this was the thought of the gutsy student when she found herself in a miserable situation, reported by Telegraph.
The woman, a Jadavpur University student and a friend had booked an app-cab in Salt Lake, Kolkata at around 10pm on Monday. Her friend got down near Aranya Bhavan and seeing the opportunity, the driver suddenly started driving rashly and took the cab into an abandoned place where he didn’t need to.
“What I wasn’t sure of yet was when to react: should I press the panic button now or is it too early?”
When asked about how the event turned out, the woman said to TOI, “The lanes were deserted so I insisted on taking the main road. He agreed and continued to drive till FD block, where he again tried to enter a lane on the left.” Even while she protested the driver kept arguing about the route and saving time, and then drove past her designated drop point. “This alarmed me and I asked him to stop. Suddenly, he flew into a rage,” she added. The driver then threatened to rape her if she raised her voice or spoke another word. He also told her that he had done this to several women before.
Sensing a gruesome threat to her safety, she opened the window and started shouting but there were hardly any people around at that hour. She was alone in a lonely street, and decided to jump off the cab. The driver however tried to grab her. Somehow she then managed to open the door and jump out of the moving car but he put the car on reverse to hit her. She jumped on the footpath, and by then the driver had gotten out of the vehicle, and was trying to grab her. She then attacked him, landing kicks on his shin and the back of his knees. Reeling under this unexpected attack, the attacker fled the spot. Later the next day, she filed a complaint with Uber and Bidhannagar North police station.
Uber identified the driver’s account and Police tracked him down at Patuli in south Kolkata on Tuesday night on charges of outraging the modesty of a woman and criminal intimidation, among other charges. A local court on Wednesday morning put him behind bars for 14 days’ jail custody.
Ever since the news came out everyone is applauding the girl’s braveness. Apparently, she had learnt self-defence when she was in school around 15 years ago, and this knowledge came to her rescue.
“I remembered that I had to hit him hard on his shin bone to stop him and kick the back of his knees to make him fall. I mustered all my strength and targeted his shin bone and the back of his knees.”
Meanwhile, Uber said the cab driver was “suspended”. When she asked why he was not fired, the company official said that his cab not show up on her app. How convenient an excuse!
This isn’t the first incident of a female passenger alleging molestation by a driver that has been reported in India, but surely is a fresh ending! So what do we learn from the woman? – “The importance of learning self-defence”.
While a Panic Button or safety apps could be a plausible solution towards making women secure, the fact is that nothing dissuades such attackers better than a good old pasting. So women, time to roll up the sleeves and learn some self-defence techniques.
Feature image Credit: fightingfitaz.com