Protests erupted across Assam, including Guwahati, on a girl’s Facebook post about allegedly being molested in Jorhat town by a group of motorbike riding youths and a state minister’s reaction to her posting. Public meetings, rallies and signature campaigns were held against helmet wearing youths allegedly groping, harassing and verbally abusing the girl in Jorhat last week. The girl last week put up a Facebook post about her ‘harassment’ which went viral, arousing shock, concern and anger among students, women’s organisations and others.
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The matter had come up for discussion in the Assembly on February 13 when legislators raised the issue. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary identified the girl as an SFI activist and said she should have lodged a police complaint instead of writing it in Facebook.
The girl’s harassment and the minister’s remarks together sparked further protests today in Jorhat, Golaghat and Sonitpur districts, besides Guwahati, where eminent citizens took part in rallies that demanded the minister’s resignation for “making such an irresponsible statement”. Sahitya Akademi winner Nirupama Borgohain lauded the girl’s courage for bringing the issue in public domain in the interest of others risking her own security.
The speakers in the rally said that the government should take measures to stop such harassment and provide security to women in the state. Assam Director General of Police Mukesh Sahay has said the girl has not lodged any complaint with the police but the force registered a suo motu FIR and investigations are on.