Guwahati: It’s a sight that stills the heart and it is captured in detail on a video that went viral on the Internet. For 30 minutes on Monday night, a teen was molested outside a pub in Guwahati by a group of about 30 men. Together, they snatched, kicked, pulled, beat and stripped her. It took the police that half an hour to turn up and take the Class 11 student to her parents. In the three days since the incident, only four of her assailants have been arrested.
Even those arrests were made only on Thursday, after the video, shot by reporters of two local TV channels, went viral on YouTube. Angry questions now being asked all over the country include – why didn’t those shooting the video help the girl instead?
Assam’s police chief Jayanta Choudhary claims that 11 of the men who molested the girl have been identified, but that it will take them all of one week to track them. “We have identified 11 men. The idea is not to arrest, but chargesheet them. Random arrests will make the case fall. Tracking them will take some time. Hopefully by next week, we will be able to track all of them,” he said.
The video shows a mob of around 30 young men beating the girl and stripping her. Close-ups of their faces show no remorse, many wear a look of satisfaction.
The men arrested have been booked under Section 341 (wrongful restraint), Section 143 (unlawful assembly), Section 294 (obscene act), Section 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), Section 354 (assault or criminal force on a woman with the intent to outrage her modesty) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), following a written complaint filed by her mother. Mr Choudhary said the victim, along with another girl and three boys had gone to the city pub when they got into an altercation and were asked to leave. The fight, now physical continued outside the pub near an auto-rickshaw stand, he said, and some bystanders tried to separate them and “it got out of hand”, the police chief said, adding, “there are always some low-life hanging around and when they see a girl, you know how it gets.”