Brawl at upscale pub in city sees complaint and counter-complaint from two groups. A woman alleged an influential builder’s son misbehaved with her, while the latter claims he was hit on the head with a beer bottle by her friend
The arrest of a city-based youth who was involved in a pub brawl while trying to protect a group of college students from an inebriated gang has now emboldened one of the victims to come forward and lodge a counter complaint on Thursday against the alleged molesters. One of the accused is allegedly associated with a highprofile business group in the city.
Fashion design student Roopa (name changed), 21, has lodged a complaint with the Cubbon Park police after they arrested Rahul her friend who she claims tried to protect her friends and her -on the basis of a complaint filed by Sidhant Virwani, the alleged molester. According to the complainant, a group of friends had gone to City Bar on August 6, when a group of six inebriated youth -including Sidhant Virwani -allegedly started to harass them, passing lewd comments and making obscene gestures. Speaking to Bangalore Mirror, she added that the group initially tried to avoid the gang, but Sidhant started stalking them inside the bar, trying to grab their hands and shouting obscene words at them.
“We had gone to the bar as a small group of seven girls and two guys. We did not want to get into any trouble and just wanted to have a good time, when he started to misbehave with us,” Roopa told Bangalore Mirror.
According to her, Sidhant started trying to touch them inappropriately and also tried to forcibly hug one of them, when Rahul Shifani, one of her male friends, intervened to protect them.
A full-fledged brawl broke out in the bar and Rahul reportedly hit Sidhant over the head with a beer bottle, before the bouncers and pub employees managed to separate them.
Roopa and her friends decided to leave the bar after they were told that Sidhant is the elder son of Jaikishen Virwani, managing director of The Embassy.
“A lot of people at the pub told us that we made a big mistake by getting into a fight with someone as influential as Sidhant. We immediately left the bar. I had mentioned the incident on my Facebook wall and my family also advised me not to get involved in further trouble,” Roopa added.
However, Roopa and her friends were in for a shock when the Cubbon Park Police arrested Rahul on Thursday, based on a complaint filed by Sidhant. The girls were initially hesitant to come forward with their version until Roopa decided to lodge a complaint against Sidhant and friends citing her version of the incident, on August 11. Virwani stated in his complaint that Rahul had attacked him with a bottle without any provocation. Police arrested Rahul and later released him on bail.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Central) Sandeep Patil confirmed that both FIRs have been registered based on separate complaints and were under investigation.
“There is a case and counter case from Virwani and the girl.Virwani registered the case on Sunday [August 7] while the girl did so on Thursday [August 11]. Rahul Shifani has been arrested and released on bail.We have taken up the case filed by the girl and necessary action will be taken.” said Sandeep Patil.
Sidhant has now been booked under sections 354, 504, 506 , 34 of the Indian Penal Code including assault or criminal force on a woman with the intent to outrage her modesty, intentional breach of peace, and criminal intimidation. Despite repeated attempts , both Sidhant and City Bar management remained unavailable for comments.
‘MY SON DOES NOT MISBEHAVE WITH GIRLS’
Sidhant’s father, Jaikishen Virwani, speaking to Bangalore Mirror said, “Sidhant did not go to the City Bar at 9.30pm.He went there after 10.30pm.Till 11.30pm he was partying with his friends in one portion of the bar. A boy came up to him and said he would kill Sidhant. Before Sidhant knew what was going on the boy hit Sidhant on the head with a bottle. Sidhant has a cut on his forehead. He was bleeding profusely; his friends rushed him to hospital and he had eight stiches. Next day he filed a complaint and the FIR is registered under IPC section 506, 504 and 307.
“Subsequently we found an anonymous letter that was posted on Facebook on Sunday [August 7] and shared by 33 people. I have also given another complaint regarding this post for defamation.Police said they would act after taking a legal opinion on this.
“The girl may have filed a complaint against Sidhant to hide the boy named Rahul Shifani. Sidhant is not the kind of person who misbehaves with girls. Even we have got daughters and sisters.”
When informed of the CCTV footage and a case against City Bar, he said “it is not in my hands”.