Amarjyoti Kalita in Varanasi. Picture by Sanjay Gupta
Lucknow/Guwahati, July 23: The prime accused in the GS Road molestation case, Amarjyoti Kalita, was arrested from a hotel in Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh this afternoon.
He is likely to be produced in a Varanasi court tomorrow and brought back to Guwahati on transit remand.
Confirming Kalita’s arrest, senior superintendent of police (Guwahati) Anand Prakash Tiwari said a team of Assam police had left for Varanasi with the case diary and other relevant papers. “Kalita will be brought to the city after completing the legal formalities,” he added.
Badrinath Singh, inspector-general of police (law and order), Uttar Pradesh, told reporters in Lucknow this evening that Varanasi police had arrested Kalita in the afternoon “on the basis of a tip-off by Guwahati police”.
“Guwahati police traced the telephone of the prime accused in the Guwahati incident somewhere near a hotel in the Lanka area of Varanasi (275km east of Lucknow) this morning and quickly conveyed this to UP police. A team of policemen in plainclothes raided the hotel and arrested him,” Singh said. “During preliminary interrogation, we have confirmed his identity as Amarjyoti Kalita. Further interrogations are on to fix his exact role (in the molestation incident). A team of Guwahati police is expected to join us soon. It will take him back on transit remand. He will be produced in a Varanasi court tomorrow,” Singh added.
There were rumours in Guwahati today that Kalita had surrendered at Benaras Hindu University police chowki.
The 31-year-old accused was on the run for a fortnight after the video showing him committing the crime on July 9 night was aired. Since, there was speculation that he was in Odisha, Mumbai or Calcutta. Assam police had announced a reward of Rs 1 lakh for information about him.
Sources in Assam police said Kalita was seen on a railway CCTV footage in Calcutta three days ago. A team of Assam police are there examining the footage. Unofficial sources said Kalita’s cellphone was also tracked to somewhere near Calcutta three days ago. The police suspect he might have taken the train to Varanasi as this congested, crowded city with narrow roads makes it difficult to track a suspect. The Lanka area, near Ganga’s old ghats, is dotted with hotels.
“Efforts to track him down became expeditious and this morning it was confirmed through telephone tracking that he was here in Varanasi,” a police officer said. Another police officer in Varanasi said he was carrying a bag of dirty clothes. “During interrogation he was cool and cooperated with the police,” he added.
Kalita is a resident of house number 8 at Madhabpur under Noonmati police station in Guwahati.
A case (number 191/12) has been registered against him at Bhangagarh police station under Sections 143, 341, 323, 294, 354, 379, 388 and 511 IPC. He is said to be a friend of TV reporter Gaurav Jyoti Neog, who had shot the molestation video and has since been arrested. Kalita’s arrest takes the number of those arrested in the case to 14.
Cry for justice: In Sivasagar, 22 organisations demanded justice for the girl who was allegedly molested by an army jawan at Dholpagaon under Nitaipukhuri outpost of Demow police station on July 14. They will stage a protest by walking half naked here on Wednesday. They are demanding a compensation of Rs 10 lakh and rehabilitation for the victim, stringent punishment to the accused and suspension of Nitaipukhuri police outpost in-charge Pritam Das.
, who is alleged to have brought the victim to the army camp for recording her statement by misleading her and her family by saying that she was being taken to a local court.