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HindustanTimes Wed,24 Sep 2014

Guwahati molestation: NCW representative draws flak

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Guwahati, July 16, 2012
First Published: 17:37 IST(16/7/2012) | Last Updated: 20:22 IST(16/7/2012)

Alka Lamba, who the National Commission for Women (NCW) had sent as a representative to look into the molestation issue, has drawn flak for her insensitivity in handling the case.
 
Representing NCW, Lamba and Wanshuk Syiem met the victim after arriving in Guwahati on Saturday. They held a press conference in the evening that day, and Lamba revealed the victim's identity.
 
The ‘tip-off’ made local media houses work overtime to find the victim’s real identity. Some TV channels interviewed the victim’s neighbours to come to the conclusion that the girl’s name was not what she was forced to say by the channel that recorded her molestation and near-stripping.
 
“One expects a NCW representative to be sensitive in such delicate issues. How could she take the name of the victim before countless TV cameras?” asked former legislator and rural women’s rights activist Alka Desai Sarma.
 
Chief minister Tarun Gogoi too was upset that the NCW representatives arrived without prior information and left by Sunday afternoon flight. “They were scheduled to meet me at 6pm but returned to Delhi without informing,” he said.

Gogoi on Monday said Amarjyoti Kalita, the prime accused in the July 9 Guwahati girl molestation case, will be arrested soon.

The state government on Monday also transferred Guwahati Senior Superintendent of Police Apurba Jiban Barua in the molestation case.

According to reports, the police have arrested 1 more accused in the case.
 
Various women’s and social workers’ bodies too were ‘spurned’ by the NCW team. And if that were not enough, a third member of the team – Hironmoni Phukan – was in the dark about Lamba and Syiem’s visit.
 
Meanwhile, the victim is learnt to have told a Mahila Congress team what “actually happened” with her on the fateful night (July 9). “From what she told us, it is most likely that the TV reporter had a role to play,” a Mahila Congress leader said on condition of anonymity.
 
Later in the day, chief minister Gogoi met the victim and assured her help and security from the government.


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