The Crime Branch-CID of the Tamil Nadu police will probe the sexual harassment allegations made by a female IPS officer against Special Director General of Police (Law and Order) Rajesh Das. The woman officer had said in her complaint that Rajesh Das behaved inappropriately with her in his vehicle. Sources had told TNM that attempts were also made by fellow officers to dissuade the woman from filing a complaint.
The allegations came to light after the Tamil Nadu government formed a six-member committee headed by Additional Chief Secretary (planning and development) Jayashree Raghunandan to look into the complaint made against Das. Seema Agarwal (Additional DGP), A Arun (IGP), Shamoondeswari (Deputy IG), VK Ramesh Babu (Chief Administrative officer at DGP office) and Loretta Jhona, who is part of the International Justice Mission, are the other members of the panel.
A few days ago, DMK leader Kanimozhi had taken to Twitter to criticise the government for dragging its feet and not acting on the officer's complaint. ‚ÄúThe protector also needs protection during the AIADMK rule. When a woman IPS officer is sexually harassed by a higher-ranked officer and the CM takes no notice of it, what hope do 'ordinary' women have in this regime?‚ÄĚ she had tweeted.
Following the constitution of the committee, Rajesh Das was put on the 'compulsory waiting,' which means that the officer will not be given any assignments for a particular time period.
At least three IPS officers had told TNM that when the survivor was on her way to submit the complaint against Rajesh Das in Chennai, she was warned, coerced and even physically obstructed by two other police officials ‚ÄĒ one senior to her and the other a colleague of the same rank.
The Tamil Nadu IPS Association had issued a statement in solidarity with the woman officer after she filed the complaint. ‚ÄúThe Tamil Nadu IPS Association has noted with grave concern the complaint of sexual harassment by one of its lady officers against a senior officer. The association stands in solidarity against any harassment at the workplace. The government of Tamil Nadu has ordered the transfer of the senior officer and constituted an inquiry committee. We request the Inquiry Committee constituted to do justice by a free, fair and expeditious enquiry with the sensitivity involved,‚ÄĚ the statement read.