Woman warriors feel safe in force: CRPF DG after sexual harassment allegations by female personnel

ANI
·3 min read
CRPF DG Anand Prakash Maheshwari (Photo/ANI)
CRPF DG Anand Prakash Maheshwari (Photo/ANI)

New Delhi [India], January 22 (ANI): Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) Director-General Anand Prakash Maheshwari on Thursday said that women feel safe and secure in the force, while adding that a committee formed under Vishakha guidelines is investigating the allegations levelled by a female personnel against Arjuna awardee Khajan Singh and sports coach Surjit Singh.

Interacting with media during the annual press conference of CRPF, DG Maheshwari said he had been having regular public, as well as individual interactions, with female warriors and nobody else has come forward with any complaints.

"The lady constable, who made the allegations, had not come to us with any complaints about any threats to herself. I have been going to all the camps and talking to women warriers. I have been talking to everyone, having public meetings, and even doing personal interviews, but I have not received any complaint from anyone that anybody feels insecure in the force," he said when asked if the force is secure for female personnel.

Regarding the allegations of sexual harassment against sports coaches, he said that the law will take its course depending upon the findings of the committee.

"An FIR has been registered with Delhi police and they are investigating the matter. As far as our organization is concerned, we have set up an empowered committee envisaged under the Supreme Court guidelines made after the Vishakha judgment. The committee is headed by IPS Charu Sinha, Inspector General, Srinagar-CRPF, and she is inquiring into the matter. It is a fully empowered committee and none of the executive officers are supposed to intervene in the process and we refrain from intervening in that as well," said the DG when asked about the proceedings in the matter.

He said the recommendations of the committee will directly lead to the departmental proceedings and punishment, and any appeal in the committee's judgment lies only with the High Court.

When asked about if the force is secure for female warriors, DG Maheshwari said, "The lady constable, who made the allegations, had not come to us with any complaints about any threats to herself. I have been going to all the camps and talking to women worriers. I have been talking to everyone, having public meetings, and even doing personal interviews, but I have not received any complaint from anyone that anybody feels insecure in the force."

"We don't know the facts. Whenever the facts are cleared, we will follow the process and the guilty will be punished," he added.

He further informed that CRPF is inducting women warriors in the CoBRA force, the anti-Naxal wing of the force.

On December 2, 2020, a female constable, who joined the force in 2010, filed an FIR at Baba Haridas police station in Delhi against the paramilitary's Chief Sports Officer and Arjuna Awardee Khajan Singh and coach Surjit Singh for running a "sex scandal" in the CRPF.

In her complaint, she alleged that "They (Khajan Singh and Surjit Singh) secretly took my photos while I was taking a bath," and then blackmailed her with the photographs. She further alleged that the accused sexually harassed women constables and later used them as "their accomplices".

However, on December 21, the female constable retracted her allegations. (ANI)