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'Journalist instigated molestation of girl, filmed it'

July 14, 2012 17:28 IST

Right to Information activist Akhil Gogoi on Saturday alleged that a journalist -- who filmed the molestation of a girl in Guwahati on Monday night on his mobile -- had 'instigated' it, but the news channel he belonged to denied the accusation as 'baseless'.

Gogoi, who screened the video at the Guwahati Press Club, alleged that the journalist filming it was later joined by a colleague, to whom he was heard saying that he had 'organised the incident'.

Gogoi alleged that the second journalist was heard saying that the girl had been 'ruined', to which the first replied that it was he 'who had urged them to do so'.

Claiming that he had secured the raw footage, the RTI activist alleged that the news channel edited out these portions.

"We have submitted a CD with the entire footage to Director General of Police Jayanta Narayan Choudhury and urged him to take action. He has assured us that the police will look into the matter," Gogoi said.

The news channel's managing editor Syed Zarir Hussain told PTI that Gogoi's allegations were baseless.

"A journalist of the channel happened to be present at the spot when the incident broke out and he began recording it and called the office for a camera team," Hussain said.

"Gogoi has acquired the video from our channel. We have never denied that our journalists were not present on the spot," Hussain said.

"The video footage makes it clear that both the journalists of the channel not only tried to protect the girl, but also called the police for help," Hussain said.

"It is indeed a tragedy that instead of demanding the arrest of the culprits, Gogoi is making such baseless allegations," he said.

President of the Electronic Media Forum Association Nava Thakuria claimed that the video presented before the media was not the raw footage but an edited version.

"It can be doctored or tampered with and so we request Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi to send it for forensic tests," he said.

"We are thankful to Gogoi for presenting us with documentary evidence on the role of the journalist in the incident, but we will not take any action against him now till the evidence proves to be conclusive," Thakuria said.

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