Demanding exemplary punishment for the gang of over 20 men that stripped, assaulted and molested a teenage girl outside a pub in Guwahati on Monday night, the National Commission for Women (NCW) said its team would visit Guwahati on Saturday to enquire into the matter.

“We are demanding that the men involved in the incident be given exemplary punishment and that the State government also punish the policemen for their late response. The fact that it has taken the State government nearly a week to act on the case is a matter of shame,’’ said NCW chairperson Mamta Sharma.

“The NCW has taken cognisance of the matter and our team will look into it. We are also asking for the police officers on duty to be suspended for being unable to take timely and appropriate action,’’ added Ms. Sharma.

Calling it an outrage and a shameful incident, Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Brinda Karat said: “There is clearly a national outrage on the incident and to think that this happened in a public place where the girl struggled for 30 minutes before any police help reached her. The message that goes across is very clear — women are no longer safe in this country. The police and the State government have to be made accountable for this gruesome incident.’’

Condemning the incident, the All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA) noted: “The brutality and shamelessness of the attack of a crowd of young men against a young woman in Guwahati on Monday is one more example of not only the confidence with which such attacks are made but also the failure of bystanders to intervene in such incidents even when they are present in large numbers.’’

They demanded the State government’s immediate intervention and called for “stringent punishment” for the guilty.

“Steps must be taken to see that the safety of young women is ensured in public places. An AIDWA delegation will be visiting the girl and her family in Guwahati and will also meet with the officials concerned,’’ said a release issued by AIDWA.

In New Delhi, the Citizen’s Collective Against Sexual Assault held a demonstration near Assam House demanding action against the attackers.