Answer by Anonymous:
I was arrested for accidentally falling on an Indian woman
It was evening in Mumbai, during the monsoon. There were potholes all over the place, and it was nearly dark. Two women were walking on a rather quiet road, and I was behind them. I was in a slight hurry, so I was more or less jogging. It wasn't a wide road, and it was rather wet, so there was a small amount of space to walk in.
Anyway, I was walking faster than these two women, and when I'm close by I tripped and fell. I grabbed the nearest thing for support, which was the woman's shoulder.
Yes, it's obvious that this will scare the crap out of any woman walking on a nearly-dark, lonely road, even if she has a companion. I can see that. There is a clichéd scene in Bollywood films where the rapist/molester comes up behind a woman in a similar setting, spins her around by the shoulder, and grabs her. All understandable. But they overreacted a bit too much.
She immediately turned around and hit me in the stomach. In the time it took for me to get over the second shock (first one was of tripping), the other woman turned around as well and grabbed me. They both assumed that I was a rapist, and started yelling at me and hitting me.
I tried to tell them that I had just tripped, but they didn't believe me. I pleaded, and tried to explain the situation; tried to get them to look at it rationally. They weren't willing to listen.
I probably could have fought my way out. In retrospect, I probably should have done that. At the time, however, I was terrified of their accusations and did not want to give them any opportunity to get at me further.
They took me to a police station. I meekly came along, hoping that the police would see my side.
They didn't. The two girls were hysterical, and they kept claiming that I was a rapist and I assaulted them. With two eyewitnesses, the officer had to file an FIR (First Information Report). I was put in jail on a temporary basis, till my identity could be established.
Once that happened, the case went to court. I won't bore you with the details, but here are some key points:
- In court their story was that I had grabbed both of them and not let them go. A falsehood, yes, but I couldn't prove anything. It was the word of two girls against one man. I don't know why they did this, maybe their memories had been fudged while they were hysterical. It happens. Or maybe they still thought that was a rapist and just wanted a stronger case. Or maybe they just wanted money. I don't know.
- The minute my workplace (I work in an IT firm) heard of this, I was immediately fired. I don't have any family to support, but supporting even oneself in a city like Mumbai (where just rent takes up almost all of your paycheck) is quite hard.
- Bail and lawyer fees costed me (and are still costing me) a lot. I don't have much money left to fight this battle, I may just have to plead guilty. Fortunately some of my friends still believe me, so I have some monetary backup. But that may not last either; and I cannot suck my friends dry for no fault of their own.
It's my word against theirs, and there are two of them. Add the natural bias towards women in rape cases, and that more or less has me sunk.
I'm nearly drained of cash and energy now, since I moved a higher court (I was found guilty in the district court). Even if I get out of this, I'll never be able to date an Indian woman. It's just too terrifying. If such things can happen on a chance encounter, then being in close proximity with one is a billion times worse. I could go on a date with a girl and she could similarly accuse me. Even if I managed to get into a long relationship, I could still be accused of rape later on. This probably sounds irrational and paranoid, but that's who I am now.