Tarun Gogoi, the chief minister of Assam, met last evening with the young woman who was molested on camera by a mob in Guwahati a week ago. After the meeting, the chief minister's office sent out a press statement that revealed the victim's name and shared her photograph. The chief minister's office then called and retracted asking journalists not to release the photographs and ensure her identity was protected. They, however, went ahead releasing the name.
The National Commission for Women has removed Alka Lamba who named the victim during a press conference over the weekend and then defended that disclosure. Ms Lamba had travelled to Guwahati as part of a fact-finding committee.
The National Commission of Women has said that in addition to her injuries and trauma, the victim shows cigarette burns inflicted upon her by the mob.
CPM leader Brinda Karat, has said the Chief Minister must apologise for the "lack of sensitivity" shown in the case. "I am shocked that the National Commission for Women did this. Now for the CM to take her name is extremely unfortunate. Public apology is required, means you are recognising a mistake, so that it will not be repeated," she said.
Gaurav Jyoti Neog, a reporter from the news channel that filmed and broadcast the victim being molested, will be interrogated by the Assam Police. Senior officers have told the Home Ministry that Mr Neog appears to be a good friend of the main accused in the case, a man named Amar Jyoti Kalita, who remains untraceable despite being clearly visible in the footage.
Mr Neog was at the pub in Guwahati where the crime took place. Akhil Gogoi, a local activist, says the channel edited the footage to remove Mr Neog's shouts to the mob adding to the frenzy. Mr Gogoi has not shared the footage he cites with anyone; he says he will present it to the National Commission for Women.
Mr Neog says the allegations that he orchestrated the incident for camera, or instigated the mob to molest the victim, are baseless. He resigned from the TV channel News Live over the weekend to ensure a free and fair trial, according to his news editor.
He has said that when it became evident to him that he could not fight the mob to help the victim, he called another colleague and cameraperson to record the incident so the cops would have some evidence against the attackers.
Five more people were arrested on Monday. So 11 of the mob of 50 who attacked the girl a week ago are now in police custody.
The Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Guwahati, Apurba Jeevan Barua has been transferred. He downplayed the teenager's ordeal as "stray incident" and accused the Delhi media of blowing the matter out of proportion.
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