The Assam police on Friday arrested Gaurav Jyoti Neog, the reporter of the news channel News Live who allegedly shot the video of the molestation of the teenage girl by a group of 20 men outside a bar.
Police arrested Neog on the charge of instigating the mob to molest and strip a teenage girl outside a famous nightclub in Guwahati. Police also claimed that they have enough evidence to prove that Neog provoked the mob on July 9.
"Neog has been booked under Section 294 (obscene acts and songs), Section 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman), and Section 34 of the IPC," newly-appointed Senior Superintendent of Police (City) A.P. Tiwari told news agency IANS.
Last week, Right To Information (RTI) activist Akhil Gogoi had accused Neog of provoking the mob and claimed that he has a video footage, leaked out of the news channel, that will prove that the reporter encouraged the group of men to do the act.
Gogoi in a press conference showed the footage which had a voice telling the mob to bring the girl to a well-lighted area since the camera person had arrived.
The voice in the video footage is also heard making some vulgar remarks, but these comments were beeped out when the news channel aired the video.
Gogoi has now asked for a forensic test to prove that the voice heard is of the Neog's. He has not released the video in the public, but has submitted it to the National Commission for Women (NCW) and Assam Police chief Jayanta Narayan Choudhury.
However, Neog has clarified his stand and said that this might be a plan to defame News Live. Hours before he was arrested, Neog told India's Independent magazine Tehelka that "the tragedy is that in my effort to expose the criminals of the shameful act on 9 July, I myself became a victim of a big conspiracy."
When asked whether he called the police from the spot, Neog said that he did not personally call the police but had passed the message to the news desk.
"The situation was really bad; it was beyond us to control the mob. I have told all this in detail to the police. Other people who helped rescue the girl, told us later that although several people had already called the cops, the police reacted very late," Neog told Tehelka.
Following the public outrage and controversy over filming the shocking and shameful act, News Live Editor-in-Chief Atanu Bhuyan and the reporter have resigned from the channel.
Meanwhile, police have arrested around 12 people in connection with the molestation case. But Amar Jyoti Kalita, who is dubbed as the main accused in the case, is still at large.
The horrifying incident took place on July 9 when a mob of around 20 men assaulted a teenage girl in public. According to reports, the girl of class 11 was beaten, slapped, and stripped in public during the attack that lasted over 30 minutes.
The teenage girl was returning back to her home from a party at a nightclub located in Christian Basti area in Guwahati when she had an argument with one of the men who allegedly passed an obscene comment on her.