Asserting that there are certain rules and regulations that govern the handling of cases of sexual harassment and assault against women, Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Brinda Karat today asked Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi to issue a public apology for being insensitive in issuing a press release with the name and photograph of the young girl, who was molested outside a pub in Guwahati last week.
Karat said the identity of the victim should be protected in cases of sexual harassment.
"And in this case, for the chief minister to reveal her name and her details in an official press release from his office is quite outrageous. And it shows a high degree of insensitivity. Therefore, I believe that it would be appropriate for the chief minister to issue a public apology," said Karat.
"And the reason why I say this is because he is accountable, it is from his office that this has happened and he must take full responsibility for it. He is not above the law," she added.
The Assam Chief Minister's Office issuing a press release yesterday into the Guwahati molestation case has also drawn flak from several other women politicians and activists.
Gogoi met last evening with the Class XI student, who was molested on camera by a mob in Guwahati last week.
Gogoi assured the girl that the government will provide all protection and help for her rehabilitation. He also announced that the case will be handed over to CID.
He also criticized the local news channel that aired the footage of the molestation, saying its role was 'unethical'.
The Chief Minister's office sent out a press statement after the meeting that revealed the victim's name and shared her photograph.
The Chief Minister's office then called and retracted asking journalists not to release the photographs and ensure her identity was protected. They, however, went ahead releasing the name.
Assam Police has arrested five more accused in the Guwahati incident, thereby taking the number of those apprehended to 12.
The girl was molested last Monday as she was returning home from a party at a bar located in Guwahati's Post Office area.
The incident came to light after an amateur video of the incident was uploaded on YouTube. The video shows the mob, consisting of around 20 men, beating the girl before stripping her.
The shameful act continued for 30 minutes till police arrived and rescued the girl, and handed her over to her parents. (ANI)