The Mumbai man who went to the rescue of two women on the New Year's eve in Mumbai in western India says he doesn't remember the molesters.
He bravely went to the rescue of the unfortunate women pursued viciously by a group of hoodlums in Mumbai in western India, thus earning the gratitude of not just the two, but of an entire nation. Here was a man who could stand up to evil, the right thinking felt.
But Jagdish Dave says he had not seen any of that mob and hence would not be able identify the culprits. Obviously he doesn't want to get into any problems with anyone.
Dave had been photographed trying his best to hold the mindless lechers at bay during the incident that made Indians feel scandalized.
"I was going with a friend to the Juhu beach when I heard the women's screams and I saw the girls being teased. I tried to help them and began shouting for the police as well," Dave said Monday at a felicitation function.
Dave, a humble 24-year-old assistant in a jewellery shop, also revealed that the police had not contacted him so far.
"Anyway, I did not see any of the men who molested the women. I was busy saving the women and would not be able to identify them again," he insisted.
He also seemed to find fault with the women themselves in a way. "But women should not roam around late at night on such days," Dave said at the meeting, but when questioned what he meant, he hastily corrected himself saying that he meant women should not travel on such days without taking sufficient precautions.
Dave's equivocations could be traced to posturings by Shiv Sena, a leading opposition party in the state of Maharashtra.
The Sena that generally targets immigrants for all the woes of Mumbai, has already blamed them for the new year incident too, saying they were besmirching the fair name of the native Marathi-speaking population.
As it happens, all the 14 arrested are Marathi-speaking. The arrested are out on bail. Besides as the Sena is known for its muscle power, no one likes to fall foul of them.
An indication of the clout of the dreaded Sena is that none has denounced them for their statement that seeks to derail the investigation. Even the police have not thought it fit to record Dave's eye-witness account.