A Special Secretary of the Technical Education Department was arrested for allegedly molesting a woman on board a train
Virendra Nath Bhatt
A 2001 batch IAS officer of the Uttar Pradesh cadre was today charged with attempt to rape following a complaint lodged by a woman. Sashi Bhushan Lal Susheel was charged with attempt to rape, criminal intimidation and harassment of a woman passenger, while travelling on the Lucknow Mail fromNew Delhi to the state capital of Uttar Pradesh. The IAS officer was sent to 14 days judicial custody by a court in Lucknow. Bhushan was presently posted as Special Secretary of the Technical Education Department. He has been placed under suspension by the UP government.
The case against the officer was lodged by the mother of the victim at the General Reserve Police (GRP) police station in Lucknow Junction on Monday morning. In her complaint, the girl, who is a Google executive, stated that Bhushan, who was on the lower berth was constantly trying to touch her and when her mother went towards the sink, he tried to hold her hand.
The IAS officer was booked under Section 376/511 of the IPC (attempt to rape/attempt to commit offences punishable to imprisonment for life and 506 (criminal intimidation) and Section 294 (obscene act and song), Section 354 of the IPC (assault or criminal force to women with intent to outrage her modesty).
The GRP today produced the IAS officer in the court of additional chief judicial magistrate (railways) AK Singh, The court remanded him to 14 days judicial custody and he was sent to the district jail.
Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav said, “It’s a serious matter that an officer from the elite service is accused of such a despicable act. No one will be spared as it’s the basic duty of every individual to respect women.” The incident took place on board in AC-2 compartment of the train on Sunday night. The Google executive was travelling with her mother. The IAS officer, however, rejected the charge.
“I am being framed on false charges. I accidentally dropped some of her luggage, which was kept on my berth, and then there was a heated exchange. She asked my name and then she wanted to know whether I was from a particular caste. When I told her that I belong to the Schedule Caste then she used a casteist slur against me,” Bhushan said, adding “I cannot repeat those castiest remarks.”
Reacting to the incident, DIG Railways Harjeet Sharma said, “Prima facie, the complaint appears to be true but it is a matter of investigation. We have recorded the statements of both the girl and her mother.”
Meanwhile, Anil Rai, the GRP official in Lucknow, was removed for allegedly exerting pressure on the girl and her mother to settle the matter mutually. The official later agreed to lodge the FIR under the bailable section. However, after the intervention of the DIG railways, the charges of attempt to rape and criminal intimidation were added.
Virendra Nath Bhatt is a Special Correspondent with Tehelka.