Bar faces suspension of licence for allowing admission to the underage girl

A three-member team of the National Commission for Women (NCW), which arrived here on Saturday to probe the July 9 incident where a girl was molested and assaulted at the Christian Basti locality close to the Dispur capital complex, said it would be recommending the setting up of a fast-track court for speedy trial of all those involved and for ensuring that the molesters get the strictest and exemplary punishment.

The NCW team appealed to the residents of the city and the people of Assam to help arrest the eight molesters, who are still at large.

One of the team members, Alka Lamba, told journalists that the Director-General of Police, Jayanto Narayan Choudhury, assured the team during their meeting that the bar to which the girl had gone before she was molested would be temporarily closed down and its licence would be suspended as the girl was only 20 years-old while the eligible age for admission to a bar is 21 years.

The NCW team also urged the DGP to ensure night patrolling and deployment of women police in the city to ensure safety for women public places from Saturday night itself. Ms. Lamba wondered why a police patrol party did not pass by the area in all the 45 minutes which the molestation carried on for.

Other members of the team were Wangchuk Syiem and Hiran Mani Phukan, while chairperson of the Assam State Women's Commission, Meera Barooah, also joined the team when the met the DGP.

Ms. Lamba said the girl was still in a state of trauma although she was feeling comfortable after talking to the NCW team and had mustered courage to take the fight to the logical conclusion. The girl would require medical treatment for burn injuries the molesters had inflicted on her with lit cigarettes. The team shifted the girl to the hotel where it would be camping till Monday. The girl will stay the night with Ms. Lamba, during which she would receive counselling to help her come out of the trauma.

The NCW sought from the DGP the girl’s medical examination report. Earlier in the day, the NCW sought details of the incident from the City Senior Superintendent of Police, Apurba Jibon Barua, and Deputy Commissioner Ashutosh Agnihotri when they met the team.

Ms. Lamba said the NCW team lauded the media for having recorded and shown the video footage of the incident, because of which four of the culprits have been arrested so far. The NCW team is scheduled to call on Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi at 6 p.m on Sunday.

The NCW lamented that people in the surrounding shops of the area had remained mute spectators to the incident.

The team would be submitting its report on the findings and recommendations to the NCW, she said.