Tamil Nadu government has set up a six-member panel to investigate the complaint of a woman IPS officer regarding sexual harassment allegations against Special Director General of Police (Law and Order) Rajesh Das.
Additional Chief Secretary (Planning and Development) Jayashree Raghunandan will lead the six member investigation team, as per an order issued by Home Secretary SK Prabakar. The probe committe consists of four officers from the police department and a member from the International Justice Mission.
"The committee shall take necessary further course of action as per provisions of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act 2013 on the said complaint," reads the home department order accessed by International Business Times, India.
Das has been removed from his post and kept on compulsary wait, officialese to denote a situation where a civil servant is not given any specific assignment, with the office of the Director General of Police in Chennai, according to an order of the state home department.
Despite dissuading, officer files complaint
The woman IPS officer has complained that DGP Das allegedly behaved inappropriately with her in his vehicle, as per a report in The News Minute news website. The alleged harassment took place when the two officers were on duty during Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami's visit to central districts.
The woman officer reportedly went ahead with her decision to file a formal complaint despite attempts by fellow officers to dissuade her from lodging the complaint.
Lauding her decision, a senior woman police officer said that she was right to filed the formal complaint against Das. "She has done the right thing by filing an official complaint against another senior officer. Nobody should tolerate this and the government should take immediate action," Hindustan Times quoted the officer as saying.
Opposition attacks government
Opposition Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) mounted an attack against the AIADMK led government over the sexual harassment allegation.
"The DMK will never allow this disgraceful situation created by the chief minister for women working in the Tamil Nadu police," DMK Chief MK Stalin said.
DMK MP Kanimozhi said accused the chief minister of not taking note of the incident. "The protector also needs protection during ADMK 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?" she said on Twitter.