BANGALORE // Indian police opened a criminal investigation on Wednesday, after finding “credible” evidence that gangs of men sexually assaulted women at a New Year’s Eve celebration in Bangalore.
Praveen Sood, the police commissioner of Bangalore, said an inquiry had been set up into allegations women attending the celebrations were chased, groped, molested and robbed.
The announcement followed a public outcry over comments by a local minister blaming the attacks in the city on “western dress”.
“We did not waste any time,” Mr Sood told reporters, saying police had registered a criminal case without waiting for a complainant.
“The police teams are working, we are sure we will catch the culprits.”
Additional police commissioner Hemant Nimbalkar said the case had been filed against unnamed persons for sexual harassment, illegal confinement and forcefully attempting to disrobe.
Police officers have been sifting through footage from at least 45 CCTV cameras installed in the city centre where hundreds of revellers had gathered to celebrate the new year.
India has been shamed in the past by shocking levels of sexual assault against women, notably in December 2012 when a student was gang-raped on a bus in New Delhi and later died of her injuries.
* Agence France-Presse