NCW for fast track court in Assam girl molestation case

The National Commission for Women (NCW) Saturday suggested a special fast track court for trial of attackers of the Guwahati girl who was molested and stripped in public by 11 youths last Monday night.

A  two-member NCW team, including commission member Wansuk Syiem and social activist Alka Lamba, in association with the member of the Assam State Commission for Women, carried out an investigation regarding Monday night's incident on a street of Guwahati.

"We are going to submit our report to NCW chairperson Mamata Sharma on Monday next and we are going to recommend setting up of special fast track court so that the victim girl gets justice at the earliest," said Lamba while addressing media persons Saturday evening.

Police have only managed to arrest four of the 11 identified accused, involved in molesting and stripping the girl. The rest of the accused were still on the run as of Saturday. Lamba said the NCW will forward its recommendations to the central and state governments.

"We met the deputy commissioner, the superintendent of police, Assam Director General of Police Jayanta Narayan Choudhury and the victim girl today (Saturday) and they briefed us about the incident," said Lamba.

Lamba said there was delay and lack of action on the part of police and administration in handling the issue. "The girl told us that she had gone to the pub to attend the birthday of a friend that night. When she and a friend of her came down to go home, some youth tried to photograph them - to which they opposed. This led to the unholy incident," Lamba said.

Lamba condemned the fact that the bystanders chose to be  mute spectators rather than protecting the girl from the youths who had attacked her. "We have also taken up with the police about the delay in arresting all the culprits behind the incident. However, with the media and some social organizations highlighting the faces of the culprits through news and hoardings, we hope that the culprits will be booked soon," she said and appealed everyone to help police with information on the rest of the culprits, who have gone underground now.

"The girl struggled for about 45 minutes with the youths and during the time there was no police patrolling on the streets of the city. We are told that the nearest police station is only five  minutes' distance away from the place of occurrence," Lamba said.

"These facts indicate that there is lapse on the part of police. However, we have taken up all these matters with the DGP and he has assured us to arrange for adequate police patrolling in the city," she said. The administration is also going to cancel the license of the pub as they allowed the victim girl to enter into it despite the fact that she is only 20 years old as the minimum age to enter a pub is 21 years, she added.

The administration has also taken serious note of this and a mechanism would be applied to all the 125 pubs in the city to check entry of under-aged youth, she said. "We also appreciate the victim girl who had decided to come forward and speak to media in a day or two. She felt that it is her attackers who should hide their faces and not she. She will come before the media soon but at this moment she is in trauma and it will take sometime," she said.

Lamba stressed on stricter laws to protect women against such crimes across the country.

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