Guwahati: Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi`s deadline to the police to identify and arrest all those accused of publicly molesting a 17-year-old girl in the heart of the city nearly a week ago ends on Monday and only six suspects have been arrested so far.
The state police have launched a massive search, which has spread to other states including Odisha, to nab other accused who have been absconding since the incident took place last Monday.
Police have announced a reward of Rs one lakh for anyone giving the whereabouts of prime accused Amarjyoti Kalita, who is still at large. Reports say that he has possibly fled to Odisha.
Owing to the growing public outcry, police claims to have arrested seven people so far in connection with the case.
"The total number of arrested persons in Monday`s molestation incident is now seven," Senior Superintendent of Police (Guwahati city) Apurba Jabon Barua told reporters.
Two of those arrested are Diganta Basumatary and Navajyoti Deka while Ghanshyam Mallick was arrested from Bijni area and handed over to Guwahati police yesterday.
Barua said Sub-Inspector Subhan Baruah of Dispur Police Station has been suspended for dereliction of duty.
Meanwhile, Gaurav Jyoti Neog, reporter of the local TV news channel ‘Newslive’, which first aired the video footage of girl’s molestation captured by its reporter, has resigned from his duties after it was alleged that he had egged on the mob.
"There are allegations levelled against me that I orchestrated the molestation on the girl on GS Road on the night on July 9. I strongly deny and refute the allegations as malicious and wild," he said in a signed statement yesterday.
He had requested the management of the channel to relieve him of his duties till he was cleared of the charges and said he felt it was his responsibility to enable a free and fair trial.
"I will cooperate with the investigation process ... I would like to come back and join the organisation again with my head held high," he added.
Neog has also resigned from the primary membership of Electronic Media Forum Assam, which was accepted.
Neog was blamed by Team Anna member Akhil Gogoi, who held a press conference yesterday and claimed that the former instigated the mob to molest the teenage girl.
Meanwhile, the channel`s Executive Director Nitumoni Saikia said the channel was convinced that Neog was not involved in instigating the molestation.
The channel had decided to air the shocking visuals of the molestation to enable the viewers to see the ugly face of the molesters and help police to identify and punish them, in which it has been successful.
Citizens of Guwahati, under the aegis of several activist groups and NGOs, braved the rains yesterday to register their protest and anger against the Assam government, police and the media, on the molestation case.
The state wing of the National Commission for Women (NCW) will today file its report in the molestation case.
With PTI Input