RAIPUR:The Union Home Ministry — for the third time — on Thursday, wrote to the Chhattisgarh Home Department seeking a follow-up report on a sexual harassment complaint lodged by a woman constable in June 2016 against senior IPS officer Pawan Deo.
The letter referred to the statement it received from the victim’s counsel Nirupama Vajpayee which said that “the Chhattisgarh government has not taken any action against the IPS officer who was accused by my client of sexual harassment in 2016”. Curiously, Deo was promoted as additional director general of police (ADG) on August 23 this year.
In June 2016, the woman constable in her twenties posted at Mungeli district, about 130 km from Raipur, had filed a police complaint against the 1992-batch IPS officer Pawan Deo. She had alleged that the officer used to repeatedly call her over phone late at night and even early in the morning, insisting that she visit him at his residence.
Supporting her claims, she submitted audio clips along with the complaint and later released it to the media. She met the DGP and forwarded her grievance to the chief minister, the national and the state women’s commission seeking justice and appealing for action against Deo.
Following the complaint, the state government constituted a four-member inquiry committee under principal secretary Renu Pillay. The committee questioned more than two dozen people through several sittings and submitted its findings on December 2 last year. But officially, no action has been taken over it so far.
The Home Ministry sought the details of the case and also asked the state government to share the information with the complainant. It had also written to the state Home Department on July 5 and August 22 asking it to furnish a follow-up report.
Despite repeated efforts to contact Chhattisgarh director general of police A N Upadhyay and secretary (Home Department) Arun Dev Gautam, to ascertain the reason for the delay in responding to the Home Ministry, the officials were not available for comment as Thursday was a holiday due to Diwali.