Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi has denounced as "gruesome" and "demonic" a website article which mentioned an "annual rape festival" in the northeastern state, triggering widespread protests.
"The details in the article are gruesome to the point of being demonic and the writer of such a piece of pure evil is not fit for human society," said Bornali Saikia-Bora, the officer on special duty (OSD) in a statement on behalf of the chief minister.
The write-up, titled 'The Assam Rape Festival In India Begins This Week' and posted on a website nationalreport.net, referred to a "rape festival" being held annually in the state.
"Every non-married girl age 7-16 will have the chance to flee to safety or get raped," the write-up said, trigerring anger among the people of Assam.
"The fraudulent and extremely unethical article about the completely fictitious festival is an act of serious disrespect and total disregard shown towards the humble and unsuspecting people of our beautiful state of Assam," said the chief minister's statement, e-mailed to Hindustan Times on Saturday.
He condemned the "article and its publisher with the utmost unforgiving ferocity that the human mind can comprehend".
"The young and energetic people of our emerging state are busy in the pursuit of prosperity and global relevance. In our march towards a brighter Assam, these deliberate acts of devilish mischief will not be tolerated," the statement added.
Bharat Narah, press adviser to the chief minister, also tweeted, "The Assam Rape Festival is not humorous. It is distasteful, unethical, abominable and despicable and must be abhorred by all sections of society."
The Assam Police's criminal investigation department (CID) has already taken up a suo moto case and its cyber cell has started investigations into the write-up. According to an officer in the cyber cell, the website is hosted from a server in Houston in the US.