India shamed: Guwahati girl molested in full public view
(Somebody please embed the video, it doesn't seem to be working for me)
In yet another incident of crime against women, a 16-year-old girl was molested by around 30 men in full public view for about half an hour on Monday night outside a posh nightclub here. The incident was witnessed by hundreds, but no one came to her rescue. The incident would have gone un-noticed but for the footage uploaded on Youtube on July 10. It sparked outrage across the nation — highlighting, as it does, the increasing incidence of lawlessness and crimes against women. Public pressure finally forced the police to act, and on July 11 and 12, four arrests were made, although main accused Amarjyoti Kalita is still roaming free.
The teenager had gone to celebrate a friend’s birthday at Club Mint on GS Road. She was singled out and targeted after her friends left at 9.30 pm. The police team, which arrived half an hour later, said the group was evicted after a brawl.
The incident stoked massive resentment, with politicians, the women’s commission and civil society speaking up vociferously. Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi set up a committee to probe the incident.
While National Commission for Women chief Mamta Sharma demanded the police “take the matter seriously”, CPM MP Brinda Karat called for prosecution of the police officers.
Assam Police chief Jayanta Narayan Chowdhury said the police were not an ATM machine — dispensing instant service — which earned him a reprimand from union home minister P Chidambaram.
“Every incident of molesting a woman is condemnable... anyone who tries to make light of the incident is condemnable,” Chidambaram said.
Team Anna member and RTI activist Akhil Gogoi, meanwhile, created a sensation when he claimed that a reporter of NewsLive TV channel — which shot and aired the video on Monday — was the main culprit.
“The reporter and his friends were at the bar and they passed comments about the girls, which started the brawl,” Gogoi said. “The reporter instigated his friends to assault the girl.”
Amarjyoti Kalita, the main accused, is a friend of the reporter, Gogoi said. “They went to the bar in the reporter’s Hyundai car. They are being safeguarded by the owner of the TV channel.”
Gogoi claimed he had a CD about the NewsLive reporter’s involvement. “I will give it to the police and the media,” he added.The video is horrific, the girl is seen running in what looks like a busy street and absolutely no one stops to help her. Of course people here are blaming the victim, saying she shouldn't have gone to the bar, she shouldn't have been out so late, she shouldn't have been dressed the way she was. 1.37 minutes into the video, the girl can be heard pleading Tera Bhi behan hai (Even you must have sisters).Guwahati: As the nation still comes to terms with the horror that unfolded on the streets of Guwahati, more chilling details are emerging of how a rowdy mob of 50 molested a young girl while people and the police quietly watched. The editor of a local daily, who witnessed the incident on Monday night, has told NDTV that he did try to rescue the girl but stood no chance in front of the men who heckled and threatened him. More shockingly, he says that the men attacked and manhandled the girl even when she was inside the police jeep in the midst of armed cops.
Mukul Kalita, the editor of Ajir Asom, was passing by when he saw the hapless girl running on the street, screaming, stopping cars and banging on their windows for help. He stopped to help her. "She fell on my feet, saying 'Uncle, help me'," Mr Kalita told NDTV, as nearly 30-40 men followed her. By this time, nearly 30 minutes had elapsed since the victim's ordeal began. "Some of her clothing had been ripped off," Mr Kalita said, recounting the shameful incident.
As he tried to intervene, some men, who were part of the mob, asked him to back off, saying that the girl had hit two of their men. The police had said that the girl was involved in a physical fight with one of the two men who had accompanied her to the pub which they later left. While people at a rickshaw stand nearby initially tried to separate the duo, the crowd soon turned on the girl, the police said.
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Mr Kalita tried to reason out with the men, saying that the matter should be dealt with by the police, if what they alleged was true. But in vain. In the meanwhile, the police had arrived at the scene of the crime - within a gap of just five minutes after Mr Kalita reached.
But the nightmare was far from over. The frenzied mob assaulted the girl even in the police jeep, in the presence of two armed cops. While the men took away the keys of the police vehicle, the trauma that was unleashed on the girl continued for the next 30 minutes.
Even as images of the men brazenly going after the girl were aired on national television, no one could be seen helping the girl. Even the role of a cameraperson and reporter of a local channel has come under a cloud with questions being asked on whether the duo should have focused on helping the victim, rather than recording the crime on camera. Dipya Bordoloi, the reporter of Newslive, says he was disgusted that could not do more. His news editor, Syed Zarir Hussain, said that if the footage did not exist, it's doubtful that any arrests would have been made. (Watch: It was like gang-rape, says reporter who saw Guwahati molestation)
Of the 50-strong mob, the police have identified just 12, while only four have been arrested so far. The first arrest, too, was made only on Wednesday, 48 hours after the incident had occurred. The government also woke up to the incident only yesterday. Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi held a press conference - the first comment by the state government on the incident - and said the law and order in Guwahati needs to improve.
Source: India shamed: Guwahati girl molested in full public view - Hindustan Times