Hundreds of people remained mute spectators to the molestation of a 16-year-old girl near the upscale bar Club Mint on GS Road on Monday.
The girl was heckled, hit, verbally abused and attempts were made to strip her. The nightmare went on for half an hour. But no one intervened.
Mukul Kalita, 55, a journalist of vernacular daily Ajir Asom, who happened to pass by, stopped. He was also the one who called the police.
Kalita spoke to HT about the horrifying experience.
I left my office, located at GS road at 9.45 pm and headed for home.
I was in the office car.
Five minutes later, when I reached the post office traffic signal, I saw a girl running towards our car. She looked distressed, her hair was dishevelled and her clothes were torn. I stopped the car immediately and got off.
The girl — she was just a teenager — fell at my feet and begged for help.
I saw a huge group of men chasing her. They were using filthy language. There was also a man from television, shooting footage of the incident.
A youth wearing a red t-shirt (later identified as Amarjyoti Kalita, main accused in the case) warned me off. Asking me not to interfere, he tried to drag off the girl.
In the meantime, some other people had gathered at the spot and while they were talking, I dialed 100 to call in the police. It was 10 pm.
The police arrived within five minutes.
But the group of men heckling the girl was violent. Initially, they resisted the police.
And when they realised the police wanted to take the girl away to the police station, they resisted all the more. One of the youths even snatched away the keys of the police van from the driver.
The police had to call for reinforcements, and only when more policemen arrived, they were able to take away the girl.