Guwahati: Almost one week has passed since a young girl was publicly molested and stripped by a mob of more than 30 people in Assam's capital Guwahati but the police have not been able to arrest all those involved in the heinous incident. The National Commission for Women (NCW) has blamed the police for reacting late in trying to save the girl even as its report, which was to be submitted on Monday, has been delayed.
The three-member NCW team that had visited Guwahati was to have submitted its report by 2 pm on Monday, but it is yet to be finalised. The NCW committee had met the victim on Saturday in Guwahati.
Assam Chief Minister 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 said outside Assam Assembly 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, who captured the incident on camera, is also under scrutiny. RTI activist and Team Anna member Akhil Gogoi alleges that Neog instigated the mob and he has 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.
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.
(With additional information from PTI)