A top official in the Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy, or AYUSH, in Odisha’s capital Bhubaneswar was arrested on Thursday for allegedly sexually harassing an employee in his department, PTI reported.
Bibhu Prasad Sarangi, a senior Odisha Administrative Services Officer, was accused by a woman employee of sending her obscene text messages and videos. She also alleged that Sarangi had been pressuring her to have a relationship with him.
The official was arrested under Sections 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) of the Indian Penal Code and Section 67 (punishment for publishing or transmitting obscene material in electronic form) of the Information Technology Act. The police had filed a case against Sarangi on July 6 after the woman submitted evidence against him.
“After proper inquiry and verification of the allegation, we found evidence against him,” Bhubaneswar Additional Deputy Commissioner Anup Kumar Sahoo told The Times of India.
Sarangi denied the accusations against him and filed a counter FIR in the case. “The allegation against me is false and fabricated,” he was quoted as saying by PTI. “The woman along with her male friend hatched a conspiracy against me.” The top official also claimed that the woman’s appointment to his department had been found illegal during an inquiry and he was going to sack her.