New Delhi: After a major faux pas by the National Commission for Women, which revealed the name of the victim of the Guwahati mob molestation incident at a press briefing, it was the turn of the Assam government to repeat the blunder.
The Department of Information and Public Relations released the name of the victim and photographs of her meeting Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Monday - a clear violation of the law that says a victim's identity must always be protected and withheld.
The state government later requested the media to not carry the photograph or the name of the victim.
This happened even as NCW Chairperson Mamta Sharma apologised to the girl and her family for the lapse in discretion on part of its probe team member Alka Lamba, who has been sacked.
"I agree completely that it should not have happened, and for this, I apologise to the girl and her family."
Notably, the NCW was slated to submit its report by 2 pm on Monday, but it got delayed because of the faux pas on the part of the panel member.
The NCW member had even defended naming the victim, pointing that the report was not complete.
A three-member NCW team had visited Guwahati and met the victim on Saturday. They had blamed the police for reacting late in trying to save the girl.
Meanwhile, Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi met the victim on Monday evening and promised more security and monetary relief to her.
Also, the SSP of Guwahati, Apurba Jiban Baruah, was transferred.
Even after one week of the incident the police have not been able to arrest all those involved in the heinous incident.
Tarun Gogoi's deadline to the police to nab all the suspects has also ended and only seven of the 12 people identified in the video have been apprehended.
The hunt for the accused has spread to Odisha after reports that the main suspect Amar Jyoti Kalita, the one in the red jersey in the video, was hiding in the state.
"Tracking of his (Amar Jyoti Kalita) mobile phone has pointed to his presence in Bhubaneswar and efforts are on to catch him. Our police is in touch with Odisha Police and we hope to trace him soon," Gogoi had said outside Assam Assembly earlier on Monday.
The police have announced Rs 1 lakh cash award for giving information on the whereabouts of the prime accused and search operations are on in Assam and neighbouring states to apprehend the accused who are absconding.
According to the NCW report accessed by CNN-IBN, the panel says, "Police action was delayed. The police was negligent. The police came half an hour after the first call was made."
"There was lack of coordination between the state administration and the local police," it adds.
Sources say the report has also called for a probe into the role of the journalist who shot the incident, saying it seemed suspicious. The report has also asked the state government to explain how such an incident could take place on a busy street in the capital city. The report has further slammed the state government for not making efforts to rehabilitate the girl a week after the incident.
The role of the journalist, Gaurav Jyoti Neog, came under scrutiny after RTI activist and Team Anna member Akhil Gogoi alleged that Neog instigated the mob. Neog, however, resigned pending a probe, saying 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 in Guwahati.
Meanwhile, CM Gogoi called Neog's role as "unethical". "This was a case of unethical journalism. It is all right to film the incident as a part of his professional duty but as a part of his social responsibility the journalist should have informed the police", Gogoi said.
The molestation issue was raised in Assam Assembly on Monday and led to uproarious scenes. Members of opposition AIUDF, AGP and BJP staged walkouts in the Assam Assembly after the Speaker disallowed an adjournment motion on the molestation issue.