A woman officer working with the Maharashtra's Government Railway Police (GRP) was dismissed from the force last month, after serving 16 years, for holding the collar of her superior officer, who she alleged had passed remarks that outraged her modesty.
After being dismissed from the department, the woman approached the police and filed a complaint on December 7, against the superior officer, Reserve Sub-Inspector (RSI) Sharad Koli.
The Pant Nagar police have booked Koli under Section 509 (word, gesture or act intended to outrage the modesty of a woman) of the Indian Penal Code. However, no arrest has been made so far.
Speaking to The Indian Express, the woman said on July 22, she had approached Koli for availing a leave to visit a gynaecologist for an ailment. He, however, made a remark that left her shaken. "All night I kept thinking how could he say such a thing to me. I then decided to confront him."
The next day, when the woman tried to confront him, Koli laughed and asked her what she was talking about. "This enraged me further, and I held his collar. I subsequently lost consciousness and had to be admitted to the hospital by my colleagues," she added.
The next day the officer sent a message to GRP Commissioner Ravindra Sengaonkar describing the incident. Later, an inquiry was ordered by the department, where she detailed the incident. She said the remark was made in front of a few other women, but no one was willing to come forward.
The 43-year-old was subsequently dismissed from service on November 31. Speaking to the media, Sengaonkar said that 'holding a senior officer's collar sent a wrong message in a uniformed, disciplined force'. Hence, she was dismissed.
On Koli's comment, Sengaonkar said that there was no evidence regarding the same and it is doubted that the woman officer had made it up as an afterthought to save herself after having held his collar.
According to the report, in March, the GRP headquarters had received an anonymous complaint alleging that Koli and three other officers made women uncomfortable. In response, Sengaonkar said that actions could not be taken on the basis of anonymous letters, as they could be concocted.
The media contacted Koli for his statement. He denied all the allegations, saying the woman has gotten back to him because she did not like the duty she was assigned. "People who are unhappy with the duties I assign, send such letters against me."