On Friday, Kamrup chief judicial magistrate S.P Moitra after the hearing of 24 witnesses, convicted 11 including prime accused Amarjyoti Kalita who was arrested from Varanasi almost a month after the incident. However, the terms of sentence is yet to be pronounced. This is so, because, not happy with the judgement, those convicted persons have sought a re-examination of their case within 30 days.
In the month of July, the police had arrested the youths for molesting and trying to strip a 16-year-old on the busy GS Road in Guwahati at late night. The girl, a class 11 student, was pounced upon soon after she emerged from a party organized in a bar.
Some 20-25 men attacked the teenage girl as she was about to board a vehicle on her way home. They pawed her for almost 30 minutes and tore off a part of her dress before the police team came to her rescue.
On the basis of video footage, the police got cracking.
One of the molesters turned out to be an employee of the state government-run IT agency Amtron. He was identified as Amarjyoti Kalita.
Days after the incident, a team of National Commission for Women had met the girl and recorded her version. The girl is said to be daughter of a deceased police officer.
In July, RTI activist and peasant leader Akhil Gogoi had alleged that the journalist – Gaurab Jyoti Neog, reporter of NewsLive TV channel – had instigated a mob to molest the girl and filmed it on his mobile phone. Gogoi’s allegation was based on a video footage screened at the Guwahati Press Club.
The news channel had denied the charge as baseless.
It is worth noting that as part of its measure to prevent such incidents, Assam government in November had raised the all-women commando company christened as Virangana, meaning ‘women warrior’.
One hundred women commando personnel attired in black uniforms were groomed to face any situation. They were given concerted training in martial arts, using of guns, handling bikes of all types and vehicles. These ‘women in black’ would also be required to act as decoys in areas prone to eve-teasing and molestation. Such areas include the vicinities of bars and hotels.
The elite women commando company was conceived in July this year following the molestation of a woman outside a bar in Guwahati.
Kanakeswar Borgohain, the spokesperson of Assam police had said last month that the recruits for the force underwent rigorous training at the Dergaon Police Training College in central Assam. The police spokesperson had also said that sixteen of the best trainees were sent to Tamil Nadu for advanced commando training.
“We have no reports of any other state in India having floated an all-women commando force specifically to check crimes against women,” Borgohain had added.