Guwahati molestation incident: Hundreds protest seeking justice

India News Bulletin Desk
Bhangagarh flyover GS Road Guwahati
Bhangagarh flyover GS Road Guwahati
Image: Wikimedia Commons (Vikramjit Kakati)

Hundreds of angry protesters, especially women, have taken to the streets condemning the molestation of the teenage girl in Guwahati and have demanded that the culprits, including the journalist who allegedly filmed the incident, be severely punished.

On July 9, a class XI girl was hit, stripped and molested outside the Club Mint bar on a busy GS road in Guwahati, Assam by a mob of about 50 men. The attack took place when the girl was returning home after celebrating her friend’s birthday at the bar.

The police arrived only after about half an hour and took the girl to her parents.

The brutal incident, captured in a video by a reporter of a local TV channel, went viral on the Internet and has outraged many, especially women.

But six days since the incident, only 11 men have been identified and just four arrested. Police took 48 hours to make the first arrest which too has angered many people.

The main accused, named Amar Jyoti Kalita, who is clearly visible in the video, has been suspended from his local company called Amtron but is yet to be arrested.

RTI activist Akhil Gogoi has alleged that the local news channel reporter, Gaurav Jyoti Neog, who filmed the incident has “instigated” the mob to molest the girl. Neog resigned from his role on Sunday but has refuted the allegations as malicious.

The incident has outraged a huge number of people. Women from organisations such as Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti and Nari Mukti Sangram Samiti are protesting to seek justice for the girl as well as to make Guwahati streets safer for women.

Assam has a high rate of crime against women - 36.9 per 100,000 a year – almost double than the national average of 18.9 per 100,000.

Assam’s Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi has admitted that the law and order situation in Guwahati is deteriorating and has called on the local police to keep a close watch on the bars, and clubs in Guwahati.

UPDATE (July 17, 2012):

Assam police have arrested a total of 11 men involved in molesting the teenage girl in Guwahati. But the main accused has still not been arrested.

Atanu Bhuyan, the editor-in-chief of the local news channel which filmed the Guwahati molestation incident, has resigned from his post. Bhuyan has questioned whether the enquiry into allegations that former journalist Neog had instigated the incident will be impartial after minister Gogoi's comments against Neog, according to reports.

UPDATE (July 20, 2012):

Gaurav Jyoti Neog, the news channel reporter who resigned from his post after allegations that he instigated the 50-strong mob to assault the girl by 'filming' the whole incident, has now been arrested. Police is claiming that it has enough evidence to show that Neog instigated the men.

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