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Scribe lands in further trouble

New Delhi, July 16: Options are running out for television journalist Gaurav Jyoti Neog, as police will question him in the GS Road molestation case as they suspect the possibility of him being friends with prime accused Amarjyoti Kalita, according to Assam police’s report to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).

“The reporter (Gaurav) and Kalita are suspected to be friends,” said a top MHA official today. “The Assam police will question the reporter and if found involved, he will be arrested,” the source said.

Seven people have been arrested in the case as pressure from the entire country mounts on the Tarun Gogoi government.

Neog yesterday resigned from News Live news channel and also the Electronic Media Forum Assam.

Sources here said Neog was called in at the Bhangagarh police station or the superintendent of police’s office for questioning. If culpability is found, Neog may find himself behind bars. The police have been told that the cameraperson with Neog had intervened when the girl was being abused, but Neog’s role is suspect, sources said.

Meanwhile, the state government sent a preliminary report to the MHA today enlisting the steps that will be taken. These steps, curiously, also include “overhauling of Guwahati police is on the anvil” but without much elaboration. Additional chief secretary Emily Chowdhury will head a high-level inquiry into the incident while the National Commission for Women (NCW) prepares a detailed report. The state government has said instructions have been issued to bar owners that CCTV will have to be installed and a private security guard should be mandatory at the entrance of every bar. Meanwhile, the deputy commissioner has cancelled the licence of the bar, outside which the incident took place, according to the report. A special investigation team including a woman officer has also been constituted, the Assam government has told the MHA.

PIL on compensation

A public interest litigation was filed on Monday in the Supreme Court seeking compensation for the 17-year-old girl. A petition, filed by Satya Pal Anand, 82, a trustee of Indore-based Anand Trust, urged the court to direct the state authorities to pay her compensation. The petition urged the apex court to step in, as her “fundamental rights (including her right to life and liberty) had been violated”.

The state of Assam could later recover the compensation from the culprits and the officers found wanting in performing their duties, the petition said.