On the run for two weeks, Amarjyoti Kalita, who brazenly led a mob in molesting a young woman in Guwahati, was today arrested in Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh following a tip-off from Assam police.
The molestation incident, which was aired by a news channel on July 9, outraged the nation. The video clip showed a smiling Kalita in a red T-shirt trying to rip of the shirt of the woman as she walked out of a pub. He was joined by a mob who dragged and molested her. Kalita was arrested by the police from Lanka area of Varanasi, IG, Law and Order (Varanasi) B P Singh said.
With Kalita's arrest, 14 of the seventeen identified in the incident on the Guwahati-Shillong road on the night of July nine have been taken into custody.
Singh said that Superintendent of Police, Guwahati had informed the UP police about Kalita's presence in Varanasi after which he was arrested near Banaras Hindu University.
The identity of Kalita was crossed checked to confirm that the right person was arrested, he said adding that the accused carried a reward of Rs one lakh to anyone helping to track him down.
Assam Director General of Police Jayanta Narayan Choudhury confirmed the arrest. "Yes the prime accused Kalita has been taken into custody in Varanasi and his interrogation is on," Choudhury told PTI.
Kalita was questioned by a special team of state police in the Varanasi cantonment police station.
Of the 14 arrested, seven are in judicial custody while the cameraman of a local TV who filmed the incident Gaurav Jyoti Nego has been remanded in police custody. Kalita, a former government employee, was absconding since the incident.
A team of Assam police has left for Varanasi to take custody of Kalita.
In the video footage, the victim was shown being dragged back by the mob after she managed to run a few feet in a desperate bid to seek help from passing cars. Since the incident, there have been conflicting reports about Kalita's whereabouts. While one said he was spotted in Odisha, another said he had fled to Bengal. A third report said he was in Mumbai.
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