Even as Chennai was celebrating the release of Rajinikanth's Kabali on Friday, 22 July, a city-based photographer has claimed that an attempted rape occurred in the Alandur area towards midnight.
Vasanth Paul, a resident of Chromepet had caught the first day, first show of Kabali, and later on Friday, was making his way home after meeting with friends at T Nagar. It was nearly midnight, when Paul says he stopped near a bridge in the Alandur area for a smoke and heard the sounds of a struggle.
He noticed a woman who seemed drugged, being assualted by three men and calling out for help.
Paul, who has since written about the incident in a Facebook post that has gone viral, says he immediately tried to help, and was strangled with a jute rope by one of the assailants in the process. Paul has uploaded photos of the wounds on his neck as a result of the fisticuffs.
A passing autorickshaw driver apparently heard Paul and the woman's cries for help and together, they managed to chase away the attackers.
No police complaint has been filed as per the woman's request, and Paul said that although he looked for policemen around the area in the hopes that he could report the incident, none were patrolling there at the time.
Speaking to Firstpost on Saturday, 23 June, Paul said that he is now consulting with his lawyers on what course of action is open to them.
The incident comes after the murder of S Swathi at the Nungambakkam railway station a month ago. There has been talk about Chennai being an unsafe city ever since.
Speaking about the safety concerns in the city, Paul said to Firstpost, "Earlier when I would come back home late I would see a lot of cops around on patrol duty. On the day of the incident, I thought if not a formal complaint I could at least inform a cop about what happened. But I drove around the place for around 20 minutes and still could not find a single policeman."
However, he doesn't believe that Chennai has become unsafe. He says, "Maybe incidents like these used to happen before as well, but in the last two months I have noticed that more people are are coming out in the open and reporting them."
Here is Paul's complete Facebook post [warning — graphic images]: