The Tamil Nadu government had only issued an order to transfer the SP on Tuesday, hours before the EC ordered his suspension.

Stylised image of a man in the background looking at a woman in the front
news Sexual harassment Tuesday, March 09, 2021 - 22:18

It has been many days since a woman IPS officer lodged a complaint accusing a former Special Director General of Police (DGP) in Tamil Nadu of sexual harassment, and an FIR was registered. In the FIR, Chengalpattu Superintendent of Police, D Kannan, was also named for allegedly physically stopping the woman IPS officer from filing the complaint in Chennai and trying to dissuade her.  While the Special DGP was suspended, the Tamil Nadu government did not act against the SP, until Tuesday evening, when it merely gave an order for transferring him as the Superintendent of Police, Commercial Crimes Investigation Wing CID, Chennai. However, in a major embarrassment to the Tamil Nadu government, just hours after it issued the transfer order, the Tamil Nadu Election Commission ordered for Kannan’s suspension, “considering the gravity of the case.”

The Chief Election Commissioner said in a letter to the Chief Secretary, “Considering the gravity of the case and the report of the Home Department of Tamil Nadu, the Commission has directed that Shri D Kannan be placed under suspension immediately and disciplinary proceedings [be] initiated against him.”

A six-member committee, headed by Additional Chief Secretary (planning and development) Jayashree Raghunandan, had issued the earlier transfer order. The Chengalpattu SP was booked under charges of Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Harassment of Women Act, 1998. In February, the Tamil Nadu Home Ministry had said that the six-member committee could take necessary further action as per the provisions of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 on the complaint. The law allows the suspension of the person accused of the charges. 

E Sundaravathanam IPS, Deputy Commissioner of Police Traffic (North), Greater Chennai Police, has been posted as the new Chengalpattu SP. 

Earlier, SP Kannan and his team allegedly stopped the woman IPS officer at Paranur toll plaza and forced her to speak to the alleged harasser before filing the complaint. However, the IPS officer managed to reach Chennai and gave a complaint against the senior IPS officer and Chengalpattu SP. Following her complaint, DGP JK Tripathy forwarded her complaint to ( ) for an inquiry.

In the complaint, the woman officer alleged that the IPS officer behaved inappropriately in his vehicle. The former DGP continued his behaviour even after she told him that she was uncomfortable and it was inappropriate, she said in her complaint.

The woman officer alleged that the senior official kissed the back of her hand and she forcefully pulled her hand back. However, the former special DGP held her hand again. He also allegedly showed her some of her images that he had clicked at the previous functions and saved them as his "favourites".

She also alleged that while she was going to Chennai on February 22 to give the complaint to DGP-Head of State’s Police Force around 11 am, her car was reportedly stopped by 10-15 police officials in Chengalpattu, led by the SP D Kannan. They also allegedly threatened her personal security officer and driver.

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