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crpf officer shifted airport woman staffer had alleged harassment

CRPF officer shifted, airport woman staffer had alleged harassment

Two weeks after a complaint was filed with the police alleging that the most senior CRPF officer in the North East Zone had harassed a woman employee at the Guwahati airport, the IPS officer was on Tuesday prematurely repatriated to his parent cadre. On March 18, the Chief Airport Officer of the Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi Airport in Guwahati submitted a complaint to the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Guwahati West, alleging that Binod Kumar Singh, a 1994-batch IPS officer from the Uttar Pradesh cadre, had harassed an airport employee. The complaint was forwarded to the Guwahati Commissioner of Police Diganta Barah, and a preliminary enquiry into the allegations was carried out under a woman officer. In a letter to Assam DGP G P Singh on March 27, Barah stated that the enquiry report had “opined that prima facie, a case of outraging the modesty of a woman is made out as per the versions of the woman employee and other employees” of the airport. The enquiry report, however, concluded that though “there is an element of molestation in her allegation”, the woman employee stated that “she is not interested to continue with the matter” after Singh called the Chief Airport Officer and apologised. Singh had in June last year been appointed Additional Director General in the CRPF on deputation for four years. He was posted as Special Director General, North East Zone, in Guwahati from September 2023. When The Indian Express reached out to Singh, he declined to comment, stating that he was in “mental agony”. The complaint submitted by the Chief Airport Officer Utpal Baruah, stated that Singh had been provided services at the departure lounge at the airport on March 17, following a request from an officer in the administration department of his office, and that a woman employee posted in the lounge had raised a complaint the next day. According to the complaint, the employee alleged that Singh had initiated a conversation about her job and family with her, made comments about her smile, insisted that she take his contact number and asked that she message him. According to the complaint, the woman alleged that Singh told her he wanted to hug her, and that despite her expressing her unwillingness and saying no, he “held her arms, pulled her towards himself and tried to hug her forcefully”. “It is really hurting that the officer who has been appointed as the in-charge, North East Zone, CRPF has failed to respect a woman and become the offender to a lady’s dignity and respect while on duty,” states the complaint submitted to the police, signed by Chief Airport Officer Utpal Baruah. The Assam police acknowledged the receipt of the complaint. When contacted, Guwahati Commissioner of Police Barah said that no case had been registered and that the “complainant withdrew the complaint”. According to an airport official, the woman employee informed them the next day that Singh had “apologised profusely” and that she did not want to pursue the matter further. On Tuesday, the Ministry of Home Affairs issued a memorandum stating that Singh’s premature repatriation to his parent cadre with “immediate effect” has been approved.

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