Four days after the stripping and molestation of a teenage girl by a gang in full public view in Guwahati, the Assam government on Friday ordered an inquiry into the outrageous incident.
Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi asked Additional Chief Secretary Emily Das Chowdhary to conduct the inquiry and submit a report within 15 days.
Mr. Gogoi also ordered immediate disciplinary action against the police officers who were guilty of dereliction of duty. The action came hours after Team Anna activist Akhil Gogoi demanded that President’s Rule be imposed on the State for the “worsening” law and order situation. The BJP took out a rally in Guwahati against the government’s “failure” to maintain law and order.
Meanwhile, a fourth person was arrested. The four were among the 16 identified in connection with the incident that occurred in front of a bar at Christian Basti on the Guwahati-Shillong Road on Monday night. A video of the assault taken by a TV channel and uploaded on Youtube sparked a nationwide outcry.
Director-General of Police Jayanto Narayan Choudhury told The Hindu that the police were searching for eight others. The identity of one of the accused was yet to be ascertained. Giving details of the incident, Mr. Choudhury said the girl, along with three boys, had gone to the bar to attend a birthday party of her friend. “However, when it came to payment, the birthday girl told her and the boys that she had lost her ATM card. This caused a brawl among them. Then the bar manager showed them the door. After they came out, there was a physical fight among them. Some people waiting near an autorickshaw stand intervened… Soon some more gathered, and as the birthday girl and the three boys fled, the girl was left all alone. Taking advantage of the situation, some people molested her. The police got a call from someone from a nearby hotel and rushed to the spot and rescued the girl.”
The Assam Public Works, a social organisation, erected two big hoardings, at Chandmari and Dispur Super Market, and multiple flex banners, displaying the photographs of six accused persons and appealing to the public to inform and hand over to the police whenever they come across these persons.
On Friday, the girl and her family refused to meet a delegation of the Assam State Commission for Women when it visited their home for an inquiry. A delegation went to meet the girl, “but her elder sister told us that she would not meet anyone,” Commission chairperson Meera Barooah said.
NCW chief’s plea
Demanding an exemplary punishment for the gang, the National Commission for Women said on Friday that a panel would visit Guwahati on Saturday.