Upscale Kol locality plagued by rowdies at night

KOLKATA: A man, dressed in blue t-shirt and trousers parked his bike on Abdul Rasul Avenue — just metres from Menoka Cinema Hall — and started relieving himself near the fence of Rabindra Sarobar. A strong stench of urine filled the air along the road opposite United Bank of India in the locality. But no one said anything.

“This is nothing new in this locality as cab drivers and bikers often urinate in the open. They don’t listen to anyone if they are asked not to do so,” said Ena Roy, who comes to the area every night to feed stray dogs. “The road is not safe any more as a lot of rogue elements roam the area ,” she said. Roy, who works with an interior designing firm, said even regular by cops failed to control these people.

“Chasing away is almost a regular problem for me, even though I am a known face in the locality since I come to feed the stray dogs every night,” she said.

“The other day, while I was feeding the dogs, a biker passed a comment. When I confronted him, he apologised. But that is not a usual practice for the rogue youths who gather around the shops here at night,” Roy added.

Locals on Saturday had claimed that some groups of bikers who hang about in the area start creating trouble for the passers-by as the night grows darker. “The stretch from the Mother Dairy booth to Menoka Cinema Hall is where they hang out every night. There were not so many rogue elements even a few years back. But it is increasing day by day,” said Jharna Choudhury, who lives on a lane off Abdul Rasul Avenue.

“They try to find darker lanes and meet there. They then park their vehicles, drink and create a ruckus,” she complained.

“The trouble is greater on Friday and Saturday nights. These groups of bikers, some of them from the neighbourhood, wait here till late at night. The night show at Menoka Cinema Hall ends at midnight and they start passing comments at the couples leaving the theatre,” said Sushanta Roy, a security guard working at an apartment on Abdul Rasul Avenue.

Roy alleged that some of the bikers park their vehicles on the road and pull out liquor bottles from their backpacks. “It is a cat-and-mouse game while they drink in the open. If they spot a police vehicle, they sneak into one of the lanes nearby,” said Roy. While he did not notice the couple being harassed on Friday night, Roy felt that these youths needed to be controlled. “Cops make their rounds at regular intervals, but these youths are good at hiding,” he added.

Times View

The young couple were victims of rowdyism because they dared to protest against peeing on the road. Ironically, this has happened at a time when the government itself has initiated a crackdown on littering. There must be a push-back against this sort of lawlessness.
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