| Cotton College principal Indra Kumar Bhattacharyya addresses the meeting on Monday. Picture by Eastern Projections
Nov. 26: The city’s intelligentsia and women rights activists today rose in protest against the “barbaric and unprecedented” violence on Saturday and demanded stern action against those responsible for the bloody mayhem.
Eminent city-based scholars, educationists, artists and students resolved to carry out a sustained campaign to force Dispur take steps against those responsible for what they described as “barbaric and unprecedented” mob violence in the city.
A citizens’ committee, set up with scholar Hiren Gohain as its head, has set a 15-day deadline for the state government to punish the culprits.
The committee demanded that the government take punitive action against police and officials who were caught napping during the clash.
Principal of B. Borooah College Dinesh Baishya, who is the working president of the committee, said the clash signalled a dangerous trend and exposed fast erosion of values. “We cannot allow repetition of such incident in the future under any circumstances.”
“It is high time for us to rise to the occasion. All right-minded citizens should come forward to protest the incident and take action to prevent its adverse impact.”
The committee will first approach the Assam Human Rights Commission for a probe into the street clash, delivering justice to the innocent victims and punishment to the guilty. If the rights panel fails to do the needful, it will move Gauhati High Court.
The committee was formed at a meeting organised at the initiative of the Cotton College Union Society and Mukta Prajanma, an NGO, at Sudmerson Hall in Cotton College this morning.
In another protest meeting held at the auditorium of Assam Pradeshik Mahila Samiti office at Guwahati Club, several women’s organisations condemned the violence against women and children. The violence witnessed on Saturday had no parallel in the history of the state, they claimed.
“We have never seen women being stripped and thrashed as it happened in Beltola on Saturday. We condemn the civil and the police administration for their miserable failure to prevent the gory incident which should not have been allowed to happen in civilised society,” Hena Bora of the Asom Mahila Sangha said. “The shameful act of stripping a woman on the road is a blot on our society.”
Echoing her, litterateur Eli Ahmed said that all women’s organisations should make a joint petition to President Pratibha Patil drawing her attention to the mindless violence against women.
“Since our President is a woman, we should invite her to see what is happening here,” Ahmed said.
Junu Bora of the All Assam Pragatisheel Nari Sanstha demanded independent inquiries and indictment against the culprits, by the Assam Human Rights Commission and the Women’s Commission.
Members of other women’s organisations including North East Network, Abhijatri, Eastern India Women’s Association, Pensioners Ladies Wing participated in the protest meeting.