Indians have expressed horror at video footage of a teenage girl being sexually assaulted by a laughing mob of more than 12 men in a busy street outside a bar in north-east India.
No one intervened for up to 45 minutes during the attack, which was filmed by an off-duty TV journalist who called a cameraman to join him. The footage was broadcast on news channels, prompting a debate on women’s safety in India and whether journalists have a duty to help in such situations. In an interview with Indian media, the victim asked why the journalists did not intervene: “They were only taking pictures. Why could they not help me?”
Police have been criticised over their initial indifference towards the attack, which took place last Monday just minutes from the nearest police station in Guwahati, Assam.
Frustrated at police inaction in the days following the assault, residents put up “wanted” posters of the men caught on camera and circulated the images on social networking sites.
The attack has highlighted the dangers of being a woman in the world’s biggest democracy. Writing in the Mail Today on Sunday, the novelist Palash Krishna Mehrotra said: “This ghastly episode has brought back in focus an old issue: our primitive attitudes towards women.”"