Assam University students held a blockade on the Silchar-Dwarbond Road in Cachar district on Wednesday, seeking the arrest of two persons who assaulted a girl at Ghoongur, near Silchar town, on Tuesday.
They withdrew the road blockade in the evening after senior officials assured them that operations to arrest the culprits were on but continued their “indefinite” blockade at the university’s main gate.
The students, under the banner of Assam University Students’ Union, locked the main entrance to the university and held the blockade from 10am, leading to traffic congestion on both sides of the road.
Assam University vice-chancellor Dilip Chandra Nath, who is out of station, said over phone that the district administration had been informed of the matter.
Assam University Students’ Union general secretary Aritra Dhar said the girl, a student of the university and a resident of Maibang in Dima Hasao district, was allegedly abused, assaulted and her mobile phone was snatched by three motorcycle-borne men when she was passing through the area with a male friend on a bike. The girl alleged that when she sought the help of local people and police, no one came forward. One of the culprits was arrested on Tuesday night. The protesters demanded the arrest of the other two accused.
Call for stringent laws
People from all walks of life in Tinsukia on Wednesday urged the Centre to enact stringent laws to prevent crime against women.
The students of Tinsukia Law College took out a rally here, seeking stringent laws to ensure women’s safety across the country.
India has been witnessing widespread agitation following the rape and murder of a 26-year-old veterinarian in Hyderabad, Telangana.
Tinsukia Law College Union secretary Sumit Kumar Shah asked, “If the Centre can take the decision on demonetisation within hours, why does it delay in making stricter laws to punish rapists?”
Nivedita Bose, a teacher of the college, said, “The entire nation is seeking stricter laws to curb crimes against women. The Centre should take prompt action.”
Dr Prerna Keshan, a Tinsukia-based gynaecologist, said, “Incidents like these are shameful at a time we are talking about women empowerment. Children should be taught at an early stage of their development that women are the nation’s foundation. We will have to empower women.”
Irot Tanti, secretary of the All Tea Tribes Students’ Association, Doomdooma, said, “Capital punishment should be given for such heinous crimes and convictions should be completed within a week. Incidents of rape are on the rise in Assam. The home department should take prompt action in this regard. I appeal to the state’s new director-general of police Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta to give top-most priority to women’s safety.”
B.K. Purnima, a teacher at Prajapita Brahma Kumaris Ishwariya Vishwa Vidyalaya, cited drug addiction behind the disorder in society. “Parents, teachers and spiritual gurus should work together to create a positive attitude among youths towards life.”
Rajya Sabha chairperson M. Venkaiah Naidu had on Monday joined several members in questioning the criminal law provisions that allow softer punishment for underage convicts and clemency for those sentenced to death.
Defence minister Rajnath Singh had told the Lok Sabha on Monday that the government was ready to enact strictest laws to curb crimes against women.
Additional reporting by Manoj Kumar Ojha in Doomdooma.