Assam: Jorhat girl’s Facebook post triggers mass protests; Minister slammed for sexist comments!

Assam: Jorhat girl’s Facebook post triggers mass protests; Minister slammed for sexist comments!

Guwahati: A Facebook post by a girl in Jorhat about her alleged sexual harassment by a group of motorcycle-borne people has triggered wide spread protests across the BJP-ruled state with hundreds of students coming out in support of the victim.

The protesters are demanding security for women and arrest of the unidentified accused.

"They come under the cover of darkness, their faces hidden behind their helmets. I try and move to the side of road but they follow me. They fondle my breasts and drive away. I freeze at the spot…," the girl reportedly wrote in a Facebook post, which has now become viral.

In her post, the victim said that the repeated assaults – also on other women living in the locality which has one of the oldest women's college in the state – had left her so traumatised that she has stopped moving out after sunset.

Meanwhile, an alleged sexist comment by an Assam government minister has added fuel to the fire triggering calls for his resignation.

Parliamentary affairs minister Chandra Mohan Patowary – a former Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) leader who joined the BJP ahead of last year's assembly elections – said the girl was an activist of the Left-wing Students' Federation of India (SFI) and ridiculed her for making her ordeal public on social media instead of seeking police help.

Irked with his remarks, activists questioned the minister whether the sexual harassment was prompted by the victim's leftist ideology, triggering protests in Jorhat, Golaghat, Sonitpur and Guwahati.

The issue was discussed in the Assembly on February 13 when some legislators raised the matter.

An IPS officer Sanjukta Parashar, a former superintendent of police in Jorhat, wrote a Facebook post backing the girl going public with her ordeal.

Public meetings, rallies and signature campaigns were held against helmet wearing youths allegedly groping, harassing and verbally abusing the girl in Jorhat last week.

Sahitya Akademi winner Nirupama Borgohain lauded the girls courage for bringing the issue in public domain in the interest of others risking her own security.

Former chief minister Tarun Gogoi also took Twitter to slam the BJP government.

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.

-With inputs from PTI

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