CM’s office names Guwahati molestation victim, releases photo
Guwahati: The Class XI girl, who was molested in full public view by over 50 men for more than 30 minutes on a busy street here last Monday, is now being victimized by the insensitivity of officials.
The victim’s identity was on Monday revealed not once but twice – first by Alka Lamba from fact-finding team of National Commission for Women (NCW) and then by Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi’s office.
Gogoi today met the girl and assured her of all possible help. Following the meeting, the CM’s office issued a press release in which the victim's name was mentioned and her photograph was also shared. In a bid to do damage control, Gogoi's office immediately sent out an e-mail to reporters asking them to protect the girl’s identity.
Meanwhile, the NCW removed Congress leader Alka Lamba from the fact-finding panel after during a press meet in Guwahati, she made public the victim's name.
The revelation led to widespread condemnation, including BJP's Smriti Irani who said it was violation of Supreme Court directives.
"We have removed Lamba from the team. She was one of the members of the fact-finding team. It was wrong on her part to publicise the name of the victim. That is the reason she was removed," NCW chairperson Mamta Sharma said.
Also today, Guwahati's top police officer was shunted out following public outrage over the molestation of the teenaged girl outside a pub here and his controversial comments over the incident.
City SSP Apurba Jiban Baruah, who had termed the Class XI student's ordeal as a stray incident that was hyped by the national media, has been transferred to Dibrugarh and replaced by SP of that city Arabinda Kalita, official sources said.
The transfer followed the demand by the NCW for the removal of Baruah and public outrage over the incident.
Meanwhile, another accused in case was arrested, taking the number of those apprehended to eight.
"Today we arrested Rupkanta Kalita from Nalbari and search operations are on in Guwahati and nearby areas, including Meghalaya where the other three other main accused may have taken refuge," a senior official said.
Gogoi today also announced that the case will be handed over to CID. He said key accused Amarjyoti Kalita was traced to Bhubaneswar but Odisha Police said their Assam counterpart were yet to contact them on the matter.
Gogoi also slammed the local news channel that aired the footage of the molestation saying its role was "unethical".
The issue rocked the state Assembly as well with opposition AIUDF, AGP and BJP staging walkouts after the Speaker disallowed an adjournment motion to discuss the issue.
(With PTI inputs)