CHENNAI: The Tamil Nadu government on Wednesday set up an inquiry panel to probe a sexual harassment complaint from a woman IPS officer against senior police officer Rajesh Das.
Das, who was serving as the special Director General of Police (DGP), Law and Order, has been removed from the post and put on 'compulsory wait'.
An order to form the committee was issued by the home secretary S K Prabakar. The enquiry committee consists of six senior members including the presiding officer Jayashree Raghunandan, Additional Chief Secretary to Government, Planning and Development Department.
The other members are Seema Agarwal, Additional Director General of Police, Headquarters, A Arun, Inspector General of Police, Administration, B Shamoondeswari, Deputy Inspector General of Police, Kancheepuram Range, V K Ramesh Babu, Chief Administration Officer, Office of the Director General of Police and Loretta Jhona, Head of Programme Management, International Justice Mission (IJM).
The order read that the committee shall take necessary course of action as per the provisions of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 (Central Act 14 to 2013).
According to sources, Das allegedly harassed the junior IPS officer when both the police officers were deputed to central districts of the state during a recent trip of the Chief Minister. The complainant has submitted that Das offered her a ride in his vehicle since both were travelling to the same districts and during the travel he had sexually misbehaved with her, sources said. While the complaint was lodged at the Secretariat three days back, the issue has come to light only on Wednesday.
Sources claimed that there were attempts made by another senior police officer to convince the complainant to withdraw the complaint since the ‘reputation’ of Das was at stake.
Meanwhile, Das was put on compulsory wait by an order issued later on Wednesday. Opposition leader MK Stalin in a statement accused the state government of attempting to protect the accused police officer.
K Jayanth Murali, who was serving as Additional Director General of Police (ADGP), Director of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption, has now replaced Das in one of the key posts in the state police force and will serve as Additional Director General of Police, Law and Order.