Woman assaulted on Luas calls for law-change to prosecute minors

Aanchal Mohtra was travelling home from work when three girls attacked her on a Green Line train
Jack Quann
Jack Quann

09.17 16 Jan 2023

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Woman assaulted on Luas calls...

Woman assaulted on Luas calls for law-change to prosecute minors

Jack Quann
Jack Quann

09.17 16 Jan 2023

Share this article

One woman assaulted by three teenage girls on the Luas has called for a change in legislation to prosecute minors.

Aanchal Mohtra was travelling home from work the evening of January 10th, when three girls attacked her on the Green Line from Sandyford.

She was physically and verbally assaulted, and had popcorn thrown at her.


Aanchal told Newstalk Breakfast the girls kicked her in her seat.

"Maybe after 10 minutes or so, three girls they just hopped on the Luas and they sat beside me," she said.

"They were chatting, they had popcorn, everything was fine - and after suddenly, I don't know what happened, one of them just kicked me hard.

"She asked me to 'get out'.

"Initially I thought maybe I misheard or something, so I just asked them 'Sorry what do you mean?'

"Then she again kicked me and asked me to get out; this time it was really hard again.

Luas The Luas is seen at St Stephen's Green, Dublin in 2008. Picture by: Peter Mccabe/Zuma Press/PA Images

"I really retaliated and confronted them [and asked] what the problem was.

"After that they just started throwing popcorn at me and just thrashing me, abusing me, humiliating me."

Aanchal said she wasn't sure what was happening.

"It was so sudden and it was shocking, I was completely clueless," she said.

"I was trying to stop them - what is the problem, why are they doing this to me?

"They were hitting me with their elbow or just kicking me back and saying all sorts of abusive language.

"It was kind of, as if, the way they were looking at me there was this hate in their eyes - that's why they wanted me to move out of the seat."

'A lady tried to stop them'

She said a woman tried to intervene on her behalf.

"You know sometimes it happens your mind just gets numb, and you don't know how to react in that moment," she said.

"You don't know what action you should take next.

"There was this lady on the Luas; she tried to stop them... but the girls were so rude at her as well.

"They screamed at her and they tried to shut her up as well."

Aanchal said the abuse continued until she got off the tram.

"It continued until my stop, actually - I tried to step out of my seat as well but they blocked my way," she said.

"I couldn't just pass on like that, so I had to really push her leg aside just to step out of my seat.

"Again she kicked me from the back... and then they snatched my bag.

"It was so horrific at that time, I had to literally snatch my bag from them - and then they were kicking me from behind and throwing again popcorn in my eyes and my hair.

"All sorts of abuse".

'A warning is not enough'

She has started a petition calling for a change to the law for those under-18.

"I can clearly see that these three girls were underage, and I think the law protects them," she said.

"Even if you go to complain about them, it's just that they are given a warning.

"I just believe that a warning is not enough for an act like that committed by these minors.

"The petition is all about that the law should be changed... it's not only an anti-social behaviour, it's more like a crime," she added.

Main image: Aanchal Mohtra is seen on the Millenium Bridge in Dublin city centre. Picture: Supplied

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