The television channel that had shot and aired the exclusive footage of the half-hour-long molestation of the 16-year-old girl, defended its action as a matter of social responsibility.
Earlier in the day, the channel came under fire from Team Anna member and RTI activist Akhil Gogoi, who alleged that the reporter of the television channel was at the bar and he behaved indecently with the girl.
The girls were targeted after they left the bar at his behest. In fact, main accused Amarjyoti Kalita was a friend of the reporter, Gogoi said.
Syed Zarir Hussain, managing editor of NewsLive channel refuted the accusations.
“The spot is barely 150 m from our office, and one of our reporters was on his way home when he heard people talking about a street-fight,” Hussain told Hindustan Times.
“As a reporter, his instinct was to call the lone cameraman on night duty and check things out. There are allegations that the camera was too strategically placed, but our boys were just doing their duty.”
Hussain admitted it was the reporter’s mistake to ask the name and address of the victim, and initially focus on her alleged inebriated behaviour.
“We rectified our mistake and took these parts off air. And for this, we owe our viewers an apology. But airing the subsequent footage is our social responsibility,” he said.
According to Hussain, senior police officers were appreciative of the channel’s effort to expose the shameful behaviour of urban men.