Molestation of American tourist
By Our Staff Reporter
Guwahati, Aug 18: The identity of the pervert who molested a US tourist at Beltola market in the city on Sunday morning has been established. He has been med as Pankaj Deka, a married man living in a rented house at Saurav gar in Beltola and employed at a private firm located in Basistha area.
After photographs of the molester, clicked by onlookers during the shameful incident, was aired by some television channels, his identification was a matter of time. Reportedly, Deka’s wife has claimed he is innocent, that there has been “some misunderstanding”. She also said her husband will surrender to the police soon.
Meanwhile, personnel at Basistha police station may have put to shame India’s much touted tourism campaign ‘Incredible India’, but it has now come to light that a police officer who went an extra mile to help the US tourist, can well figure in the ‘Atithi Deva Bhava’ campaign.
The 24-year-old US woman, who is in Assam since June 5, was molested by a pervert in broad daylight in the Beltola market area. Onlookers immediately informed Basistha police station but before policemen could reach the spot, the accused had fled. Though the shocked victim rrated the incident to the policemen, they did not initiate any measure to either b the accused or register a case.
In the evening, when the incident was aired by TV channels, the assistant commissioner of police (Dispur) Suprativ Lal Baruah called up a jourlist to inquire into the incident. The ACP also collected the mobile number of the victim.
“The officer called her up wanting to know what had happened in the morning. When the tourist rrated the incident, the officer advised her to come to Dispur police station and lodge an FIR,” a friend of the tourist told this newspaper.
Interestingly, the area where the incident took place falls under the jurisdiction of Basistha police station and not Dispur police station. The victim, who is presently residing in Hatigaon area, visited Dispur police station yesterday and lodged an FIR after rrating the incident.
Police have registered a case (no 1707/15) under sections 341 and 354 of the IPC. The police have also collected the photograph of the accused and have launched a manhunt to b him.