Police official booked for allegedly sexually harassing woman

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Bhandara, Jun 8 (PTI) A case has been registered against a police official for allegedly sexually harassing a woman in Bhandara district of Maharashtra on the pretext of helping her in a case, a senior official said on Saturday.

Based on a complaint lodged by the woman, the case was registered against Sub Divisional Police Officer (SDPO) Ashok Bagul at the Bhandara City police station on Friday night, he said.

Superintendent of Police Lohit Matani confirmed about the registration of the case against the SDPO.

According to police, the woman belongs to the Scheduled Caste category and is a resident of Lakhani tehsil in Bhandara district. While studying engineering in Nagpur some years ago, she was in a relationship with a young man, who promised to marry her. However, he recently refused to marry her, due to which she went into depression and even tried to commit suicide.

The girl decided to complain against the man and approached SDPO Bagul in his office along with her friend. The official, however, asked the woman to meet him alone later to discuss the issue. On June 1, when she met him, he allegedly demanded sexual favours from her, the police added.

Under pressure, the woman then approached a social worker, who along with a few others met SP Matani and handed a letter to explain her ordeal and sought stern action against SDPO Bagul, they said.

Based on the complaint, the police registered an FIR against the SDPO under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 354 (A) (sexual harassment) and 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman), the police said.

In-charge police inspector Subhash Barse is heading the inquiry into the matter. PTI COR NP