Republic TV’s reporter charged with kidnapping and sexual assault
Republic TV reporter accused of kidnapping and sexually assaulting a Guwahati-based woman journalist was arrested but released as the police were allegedly “under pressure”
Arnab Goswami’s Republic TV Assam correspondent Anirudha Bhakat Chutia has been accused by a Guwahati-based woman of kidnapping and physically assaulting her. An FIR was registered against Chutia at Guwahati's Dispur Police Station on Saturday, December 1, on the basis of the woman's complaint. He was in police custody for two days before being released on Monday, December 3.
According to a report published in The Wire, the accuser claims Chutia lived in a lane next to her home and that they had met previously a couple of times, strictly on professional terms. She alleges that on the night of December 1, while returning from work she encountered Chutia — who was allegedly drunk and was accompanied by an unidentified man — in a secluded lane in the Six Mile area of Guwahati.
"He was drunk, stopped me to talk and before I could react, he and that man dragged me into their house on the lane by putting a knife near my neck,” she told The Wire. After being forcefully taken into the house (located in an adjacent area named Jayanagar), she claims her hands were tied to a chair. “When I resisted, he also sexually assaulted me. His mother was also present in the room and abetted him," she further added.
Once her hands were set free, she took out her mobile phone, that was on silent mode and called her colleagues who rescued her from a house in Joynagar area.
As per the FIR lodged by the police, a copy of which has been published in a report by NorthEast Now, Chutia has been charged with multiple offences under IPC sections 341 (Punishment for wrongful restraint), 347 (Wrongful confinement to extort property, or constrain to illegal act), 392 (Punishment for robbery), 354 (Assault or use of criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty, 323 (Punishment for voluntarily causing hurt) 506 (Punishment for criminal intimidation) and 34 (Acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention).
It is also reported that Chutia was released two days later on December 3 under section 41 of the CrPC. The accuser also alleges that the police department in the BJP-run state is "acting under pressure" and various details of the incident have been deliberately left out by the police while filing the FIR against Chutia. Several news reports claim that the police officials refused to comment on anything pertaining to this case.
Biren Baruah, the SHO of Dispur Police Station, has stated that the complainant’s allegations are false. “We are not working under anyone’s pressure. We arrested the accused and the matter is currently before the court,” Baruah has informed ‘Janta Ka Reporter’
Bhagya Deka, the investigating officer (IO) of the case, has confirmed the claims made by the woman journalist but said that one of his ‘sub Inspectors recorded her statement’ since he wasn’t present there. The cops, however, have no clue why her statement was not recorded before a magistrate.
Chutia has also denied the allegations and has said that there was no truth in the female journalist’s accusations and he is ready to fully cooperate with the police .
Meanwhile, the complainant told The Wire that the police were working under pressure ‘therefore released him from custody without even presenting him before a magistrate”.
However, Arnab Goswami remained unavailable to comment on the incident . And the Republic TV has not yet released statements pertaining to this issue.