Guwahati molestation: Assam RTI activist to challenge verdict

Last Updated: Thu, Dec 13, 2012 13:20 hrs

Guwahati, Dec 13 (IANS) After Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, Assam farmers leader and RTI activist Akhil Gogoi Thursday expressed his unhappiness over the verdict in the GS Road molestation case and said he would appeal against it in the high court.

Addressing a press conference here, Gogoi said he would soon file a PIL in the Gauhati High Court challenging Kamrup chief judicial magistrate's (CJM) Dec 7 verdict, convicting 11 of the 16 accused in the case and acquitting four of them, including local television journalist Gaurav Jyoti Neog.

Gogoi, the general secretary of Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS), also appealed to the victim to appeal against the acquittal in the sessions court.

"While we appreciate the fast delivery of verdict in the case, we feel that the whole investigation of the case was 'politically influenced' directly or indirectly by Assam Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma to safeguard Neog, who works for News Live television channel owned by the minister," he alleged.

The chief minister had Monday also expressed his unhappiness over the verdict, especially the acquittal of Neog, and vowed action against the investigating officer if there was any lapse on his part.

After the sensational molestation case July 9, Akhil Gogoi termed Neog as the director of the whole molestation incident and charged him with inciting the mob to strip the girl in public "to build up the story for his news channel".

He had also submitted electronic evidence - raw footage of the molestation incident before the Special Investigating Team (SIT) - formed by Assam Police to investigate the case.

He also alleged that the investigating officer and the SIT had intentionally misguided the court over the investigation and trial, saying this was clearly mentioned in the judgment.

Quoting the judgment, Akhil Gogoi pointed out that the court had even pointed out that the investigating officer of the case should have been more professional to handle a case of such a magnitude.

"Here in the present case in hand, the defence was successful in raising some questions regarding the efficiency and ability of the investigating officer to handle a case of such a magnitude.

"Without going to question his ability, hard work and sincerity, I like to bring it on record that in such a sensational case, the IO needed to be more professional in his approach and ought to have been more sensible. The evidence on record and the statements of the witnesses recorded by the IO, clearly indicates that he recorded the statements casually and in a cryptic manner. There was lack of promptness and also lack of sensibility," he quoted from the judgment.

"It is not understood, why the investigating team got the Controlled Voice Sample of accused Gaurav Jyoti Neog recorded by a studio photographer, when the CID has got their own experts in this line... Thus, by such act of non-professional approach and lack of precision, the investigating team has allowed to waste a vital evidence," he read from the judgment.

"The whole investigating process is kind of a drama staged under political influence of the minister to save Neog since he works for the television channel owned by the minister," said Akhil, who also appealed the people to financially help them to pursue the case in the high court.

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