The Bihu Dance Troupe Manager Arup Raba has narrated his team's shocking and horrific mass molestation ordeal at the mercy of a mob of around 700 men at an event near Assam's Guwahati on 7th June.
Raba was with his team of 42 women dancers who were threatened, molested and ordered to strip by the men at the event.
Speaking to Republic TV, Raba said:
"We were tricked and invited. They told us that we will perform Bihu dance, which falls under the Assamese culture. But once we reached, we realized they expected to perform disco dance."
Apparently, the manager had a heated argument when he questioned the organizers.
The dance troupe was ordered to perform an obscene 'disco dance' which involved stripping their clothes. Soon they were trapped amidst a 700-strong crowd of men with no way out:
"They took us to another place and we were stuck, getting out and escaping was difficult" added Raba.
The organizers and the spectators pressurized and demanded the performers strip naked. He added that they later came to know that this manner of monstrosity had been going on for years.
"Both the public and organizers demanded our troupe to perform naked. Soon we got to know that this has been going on for years," added Raba.
He further spoke about the troupe and his own helplessness in the face of the perverse crowd:
"Those guys were dangerous. There is a difference between humans and monsters and they were nothing short of monsters. I don't know what they thought of us, we are just Bihu dance performers. "
He also said that the girls were continuously heckled during the performance, and ordered to strip naked and perform.
Faced with this horror, his group tried to escape, breaking through the crowd which had encircled them. The girls made their escape first followed by the boys who were in the troupe. However, the crowd followed and circled them again, he recounted. Some of men tried grabbing them at this point.
Somehow, Raba and others helped shepherd the girls into their bus and locked them inside. Even so, the attackers kept trying to attacking the troupe.
The National Commission for Women (NCW) has assured speedy justice for the victims:
So far seven persons have been arrested in connection with the incident, among two are organisers of the event, though the main organiser, alleged to be Kuddus Ali, remains at large.