ITANAGAR, Oct 8: Fifteen persons were arrested by the police on 3 October for physically assaulting and harassing a woman in Sompoi-II village in Changlang district.
According to reports, the police made the arrests based on a complaint filed by the three gaon burahs of the village on 2 October.
The incident occurred on the intervening night of 25 and 26 September.
In a complaint letter submitted to the Arunachal Pradesh State Commission for Women on Thursday, the Women Welfare Association of Narcotics Cell, Lekang (WWANCL) stated that the victim was married to one Bhaigeswar Deori of Sompoi-II village for five years. It said the husband was physically violent towards her.
The woman also suffered a miscarriage and was unable to bear any children due to the regular physical assault by her husband.
The husband continued to torment her despite being reprimanded by the village authorities. She later left the village with another person to escape from her husband’s torture.
However, she was attacked in the village of the person with whom she had gone. A group of men and women physically assaulted the woman. Some of the women disrobed her and cut off her hair in front of the gathering. She was also kept inside the room of a school for a whole night without food or water, and was tortured and abused by a group of women.
A meeting was conducted by the villagers of Sompoi-I the next day, 26 September, without informing the victim’s parents, who live in New Mohong village. It was decided in the meeting that the victim would have to leave the village, and that neither her husband nor the person with whom she had left would accept her.
Later, the victim somehow got a chance to call her grandfather, who lives in New Mohong village in Namsai district, and who then took her to his home the same day.
The WWANCL stated that the police have informed that a total of 38 people were involved in the incident but till now only 15 of them are in police custody.
A video of the brutal assault, in which the woman is seen being stripped naked, her hair chopped, and beaten, is being circulated on some social media platforms.
Speaking to this daily, the Diyun police station OC on Thursday informed that the rest of the accused will also be arrested soon.
“All of the accused have been identified and no one will be able to escape the law. Our problem is that the police station here has only two lockups – one each for male and female prisoners. It has a capacity for only six persons at a time. Presently, we have nine female and 17 male prisoners locked inside the jail. I can’t arrest all and put them together in a lockup in such a situation because it will be against human rights,” he informed.
The OC further stated that, once the group of accused (which includes nine women and six men) which is currently in police remand is taken to Changlang to be produced before the court of the chief judicial magistrate, “then immediately the rest of the accused will be arrested and put into jail.”
“All accused have been booked under Sections 341, 354, 506, 509 and 534 r/w Section 67 (A) of the Indian Information and Technology Act,” the OC added.