Gaurav Jyoti Neog, the Newslive channel reporter who is accused of "planning and directing" the ghastly mob attack on a 20-year-old girl in Guwahati, has been arrested. He resigned on July 15. Police claim it has enough evidence to nail him for instigating the mob on the night of July 9 when the incident took place.
Earlier, Right To Information (RTI) activist Akhil Gogoi had claimed that he has in his possession video footage that proves Mr Neog "incited" the 50-strong mob. The RTI activist held press conferences on Friday and Saturday to prove his allegations.
Mr Gogoi showed footage at his press conference last week which had a voice asking for the girl being molested to be brought to a well-lit area since the camera had arrived. Mr Gogoi has suggested a forensic test to prove that the voice is Mr Neog's. The voice, he alleges is heard making lewd comments, but that these comments were beeped out in the footage that Newslive aired. He has refused to release the footage he has in public, he says, but says he will give it to the National Commission for Women (NCW), which is inquiring into the incident.
However, Mr Neog has said that the charges against him were 'malicious and wild'. "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.
Mr Neog said he had carried out his professional duties as a responsible journalist by asking for a camera unit from his office and filmed the "nightmarish incident to fulfill the social responsibility of identifying the molesters and get them punished." He also said he 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.
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.
Dipya Bordoloi, Newslive's night reporter and a cameraperson managed to capture the incident that was subsequently aired on the channel that night. Mr Bordoloi said he tried to help the girl but was outnumbered by the many men in the mob attacking the girl. On Monday night, the channel aired edited footage - it showed just the policemen arriving to rescue the girl, about 20 minutes after she was attacked.