A 17-year-old teenage Indian girl was beaten, stripped and burned with cigarettes by a mob of men as she left a bar in India. The incident that happened late in the night in the Indian city of Guwahati has caused national outrage.
According to the Daily Mail, the incident happened late in the night, and was captured on video. The mob of attackers included at least 20 men who pounced on the girl and beat her up. People have expressed outrage that nobody came to the girl's assistance for the entire 45 minutes during which she was publicly molested.
The video shows the men attacking the girl by grabbing her by the hair and holding her to the ground. People stood by idly and watched as the shameful incident unfolded. The girl was beaten, stripped, and it took about 45 minutes for the police to respond even though a police station was nearby.
The Daily Mail reports that a total of at least six men have been arrested in connection with the incident. Some of the men in the attack were identified on video.
According to police, some of the men already arrested include:
Diganta Basumatary, Navajyoti Deka, Amarjyoti Kalita, Dhanonjoy Basfor and Bulbul Das. The prime accused in the incident, Amarjyoti Kalita, was still at large.
A Television reporter, Gaurav Jyoti Neog, of "Newlive," was accused of instigating the mob, DNA India reports. According to DNA India, Neog has denied the accusation. In a signed statement, he said: "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."
Times of India reports that a footage was produced allegedly showing the TV reporter instigating the mob to strip and assualt the girl outside the Guwahati pub. The TV channel where the reporter works was the first to air the molestation, Times of India reports.
Akhil Gogoi, a local activist, who made the allegation, said "It's a shame when a reporter is involved in such a heinous crime." Times of India reports Gogoi said the reporter instigated the crowd after the girl and her friend took exception to an offensive comment he made.
But after Gogoi made the allegation, the Electronic Media Forum Assam (EMFA) issued a statement denying the accusation, saying it was unfounded. EMFA asked that Gogoi provide evidence. In response, Gogio produced a video of the incident. He said: "I had decided to submit the footage only to police. EMFA asked me for proof, so I'm showing the footage to the media."
But EMFA members said the video was not sufficient to substantiate the claim and that it did not include raw footage. According to EMFA, the video was an edited DVD that could have been doctored. Gogoi replied, saying the raw footage was not submitted to the police. He said "If the police want, we can give them the raw footage. The video we submitted to the police clearly establishes the reporter's involvement."
DNA India reports that the accused reporter Negoi, asked the management of his channel to relieve him of his duties until he was cleared of the charges.
The Executive Director Nitumoni Saikia of the TV channel said he was convinced that Neog was innocent but said it was necessary for the channel to show that it was not shielding anyone. He said: "We are not trying to protect or shield anyone but we remain committed in our campaign to get the molesters arrested."
A three-member team from the National Commission for Women (NWC) is investigating the incident, NDTV reports. Alka Lamba, member of the NWC team that visited the girl on Saturday, said: " It is very saddening. 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, which we have seen with our own eyes."
The women's panel also criticised the role of the news channel that recorded the footage, saying the crew continued recording even after the girl begged for their intervention.
Lamba said she was shocked about the incident, but she said the girl was safe and that she was receiving medical treatment. She said: "The need of the hour is to provide her good counselling so that she can resume her normal life."