Guwahati girl molestation: Police not like ATM machine, says Assam DGP

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Guwahati: India is outraged over the shocking molestation of a girl by a group of jeering men in full public view in a busy area.

The incident occurred on July 10 (Monday night) in front of a bar on the Guwahati-Shillong Road, which led to a public outcry after a video of the shocking incident was uploaded on YouTube.

Director General of Police Assam has said 11 of the 12 accused have been identified. While three people were arrested last night, one more person was held by the police today in connection with the shameful incident.
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The arrested included a contractual employee of Assam Electronic Development Corporation Ltd, Amarjyoti Kalita. The other two arrested were Dhanonjoy Basfor and Bulbul Das. The identity of the fourth accused is yet to be ascertained.

“One more person has been arrested and 12 others have been identified,” Assam Director General of Police, Jayanta Narayan Chowdhury, told a news agency today.

Commenting on the criticism of his force over delayed action, Chowdhury said police is not like an “ATM machine” which can be present at the crime scene the moment one inserts a card in the machine.

Home Minister P Chidambaram, meanwhile, said no one should make light of an incident of molesting a woman or molesting a child and strongly condemned if any one tried to do so.

“If they have tried to make light of the incident I strongly condemn it. No one should make light of an incident of molesting a woman or molesting a child,” he told reporters in Chandigarh. The minister said he would get in touch with Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi over the incident.

The incident, which occurred on July 10, came to light after the video of the incident went viral on the Internet.

As per reports, the girl along with a friend had gone to bar located on the Guwahati-Shillong road to attend a birthday party there on July 10. However, she entered into a brawl with her friend, following which a group of men took advantage of the situation and molested her.

“Thanks to the prompt media coverage, we have got the video clip of the brawl and have identified 12 of them. We will take strong action against the guilty,” the DGP said.

Narrating the sequence of events, Chowdhury said, “Four girls and two boys, apparently known to each other, entered the bar on Monday night, where they subsequently had a brawl and were forced outside by the establishment’s security.”

“When the six came out on the streets, local people taking advantage of the situation pushed and pulled one of the girls and attempted to strip and molest her,” the DGP said.

“The police were alerted and they reached the scene immediately after the incident and rescued the girl,” he said.

Asked about the safety of women in Guwahati, the DGP said, “This incident does not prove that there are predators lurking in the city”.

“This is just an isolated incident when local people took advantage of the situation and indulged in the crime,” the DGP said.

Gogoi said the incident should not have been allowed.

The accused were framed under Sec 341 (wrongful restraint) 143 (unlawful assembly), 294 (obscene act), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 354 (assault or criminal force on a woman with the intent to outrage her modesty) of IPC following a written complaint filed by girl’s mother.

Chairperson of Assam State Commission for Women, Neera Barooah, said that the commission had taken suo motu cognisance of the incident and will decide on the next course of action based on police action and report.

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