A Special Investigation Team (SIT) has been formed to probe the case. Ranjan Bhuyan, Superintendent of Police, Operations, will head the team. Admitting that there have been lapses on the part of police in dealing with the case, Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi had given them a deadline of 48 hours to arrest men involved in the incident. "I have already sought an explanation as to why the others have not been arrested so far," he had said.
Two more people - Diganta Basumatary and Nabajit Deka - were arrested on Sunday. That means that six of the 12 people identified by the police are now in custody. But it was not 12 people that molested the young girl outside a Guwahati pub on the night of July 9. It was a 50-strong mob, say eyewitnesses. A video of the incident recorded and first aired by a local TV channel, Newslive, shows many more than 12 men taunting, chasing, pulling, beating and stripping the young girl.
The main accused Amarjyoti Kalita is still absonding. There have been reports that he fled to Odisha and had been traced to Bhubaneswar. The police have announced a reward of Rs one lakh for anyone who gives information on his whereabouts.
A Newslive journalist, Gaurav Jyoti Neog, accused by a Right To Information (RTI) activist, Akhil Gogoi, of "inciting" the mob and even "planning and directing" the molestation for the camera, has resigned from the channel. "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. The RTI activist says he has video footage to prove Mr Neog's role. Mr Neog resigned yesterday not just from his position as a reporter with Newslive.
Mr Neog has admitted that he was off duty and present that night at the pub, Club Mint, which the victim had just left when the incident happened. His colleague has also confirmed that he was the one that called the Newslive newsdesk to report the incident. Mr Neog and his former employers have however said that his role ended there. There has been huge debate on why the Newslive camera crew recorded 20 minutes of the brutal attack but did not help the victim. Editor Zarir Hussain claims his reporters tried to help but were outnumbered and that Newslive has that on video. Mr Gogoi, he alleges, has played footage out of context and has accused the RTI activist of indulging in vendetta because his channel has questioned his credibility.
A National Commission for Women team visited the victim at her residence on Saturday; the team said they found signs of cigarette burns on her body. "The girl has wounds on her body. The boys who were drunk must have been smoking cigarettes because there were cigarette marks on the girl's body," said Alka Lamba, a member of the special NCW team investigating the incident.
The NCW team said the victim told them that she could see camera light on her. They quoted her as saying that she knew she was being recorded and kept pleading, but the cameraman Jugal Talukdar did not help her. The NCW team will submit a report today.
A Sub Inspector of the Dispur Police Station has been suspended in the case for dereliction of duty - he did not report "on unjustified grounds" said the city police chief. The police is conducting raids all over Assam and in neighbouring states to arrest the remaining accused. The first arrest was made only on Wednesday, two days after the incident.
The 20-year-old victim was molested at about 9:30 on Monday night for around 40 minutes on a busy street outside the pub in Guwahati's Christian Basti area. Just one kilometre away is the nearest police station, and the government's headquarters at the state secretariat. But the police took 30 minutes to get there after they received an emergency call.
Mukul Kalita, the editor of a local newspaper, Ajir Asom, told NDTV that he was passing by when he chanced upon the girl being beaten by the mob on Monday night. "She held on to me, saying 'Uncle, help me' while the mob heckled me," Mr Kalita said. He too was beaten up and his clothes were bloodstained after the incident. Mr Kalita said even after the police had rescued the girl, the mob followed her into the police jeep which was filled with armed cops, and hit her.
Become friends with your favourite NDTV people and shows. Start now »