Bhubaneshwar: Nearly four and half years after a woman sub-inspector of Odisha police was allegedly sexually assaulted by a police inspector in Ganjam district where she worked, cops have lodged a case against the accused following directions from the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), officials familiar with the matter said on Friday.
A senior police official said the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of Odisha police lodged a case of sexual assault against inspector Ramesh Pradhan, now posted as an inspector in Phiringia police station of Kandhamal district.
An inquiry has also started over the complaint given by a woman sub-inspector who worked under Pradhan when he was inspector of Pattapur police station in Ganjam in 2019.
The woman sub-inspector, who now works in a police station of Bhubaneswar Commissionerate Police, was allegedly sexually assaulted by Pradhan at his official quarters on June 27, 2019, according to the complaint.
Similar incidents took place on two separate occasions, said police. Though the sub-inspector filed a complaint with the then Ganjam superintendent of police (SP), no first information was lodged.
The woman then moved the office of the chief minister, following which the additional SP of Ganjam and other senior officials conducted a probe.
The woman sub-inspector however alleged that she was pressurised by her senior officials to withdraw her complaint following which she moved the National Human Rights Commission in 2020.
Following her complaint, the NHRC asked its investigation division to conduct a probe which last month asked the Odisha director general of police (DGP) to order the registration of a fresh FIR on the complaint of the woman SI.
The NHRC said the investigation has to be done by a woman officer of the rank of deputy SP or above. The DGP also met the woman SI as per NHRC orders that had asked the state police to ensure speedy justice to her departmental grievances such as salary issues, promotion and family security.
The NHRC has also asked the DGP to order an inquiry into the allegation levelled by the SI against an SP who allegedly demanded asked her to build a tennis court at his residence and other issues while she was posted in Boudh district.
In the past few years, several police officials in Odisha have been accused of sexual assault. In October last year, an assistant sub-inspector of Jamda in Odisha’s Mayurbhanj district was arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting a minor girl who worked as a domestic help in his house.