Guwahati: Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi gave police a 48-hour deadline to arrest all the youths involved in the molesation of a girl here even as raids were conducted today in the hunt for 12 more wanted men including a government employee, a prime accused.
A controversy also broke out over the video footage of the incident with RTI activist Akhil Gogoi alleging that a journalist who filmed it on Monday night had `instigated` it, a charge rejected as baseless by a local TV channel concerned and condemned by scribe bodies.
Raids were being conducted at suspected hideouts of the dozen men included the government employee Amarjyoti Kalita both in Assam and in neighbouring states, police said.
Admitting that there have been lapses on the part of police in dealing with the case of molestation of the 17-year-old girl, Gogoi set the 48-hour deadline last night.
The police have been directed to act since the youths responsible for the incident outside a bar at Christianbasti have been identified in the video filmed by a local TV channel, the chief minister told a high-level meeting with senior officials at his residence last night.
Noting that there have been lapses on the part of the police, he said, "I have already sought an explanation why others have not been arrested so far."
The police have so far arrested four persons while 12 others have been identified in connection with the incident in which a girl was allegedly stripped and molested.
A one-member commission under Additional Chief Secretary Emily Choudhury has been constituted which will investigate and submit a report within 15 days.
Akhil Gogoi, who screened the video at the Guwahati Press Club, alleged that the news channel journalist filming it on his mobile phone was joined by a colleague to whom he was heard saying that he had `organised the incident`.
Managing Editor of the news channel Syed Zarir Hussain told PTI that Gogoi`s allegations were baseless.
"The video footage makes it clear that both the journalists of the channel not only tried to protect the girl, but also called the police for help," Hussain said, rejecting allegations that his team did not try to save the girl.
The TV channel today aired fresh footage to establish that journalist and cameraman tried to save the girl and asked the mob to stay away.