A sub-inspector in Uttar Pradesh’s Basti district was arrested on Monday after he was accused of stalking a woman and harassing her family by filing false cases against them, NDTV reported. However, the move came four days after the police cleared Deepak Singh of the charges.
“Based on evidence collected so far, we have arrested Sub Inspector Deepak Singh and we are sending him to jail,” said Ashish Shrivastava, the newly appointed police chief of Basti. “This is also being done based on preliminary findings of a high-level committee set up to look into the matter.”
Singh was suspended two days ago and a first information report was lodged against him on charges of sexual harassment late on Sunday night, according to IANS.
Basti Superintendent of Police Hemraj Meena, who has now been transferred, had earlier denied the allegations levelled against Singh by the woman and her family. In her complaint to Meena, the woman alleged that Singh sent her inappropriate messages and pressured her to meet him. According to the woman, Singh got her phone number during a drive to check on the use of face masks amid the coronavirus crisis in March last year.
The woman said she did not respond to Singh’s advances and instead blocked his number.
However, after this she said that at least eight fake police cases were filed against her and her family. “The actions of the sub-inspector had driven the family to despair with no option but suicide,” she added.
The woman complained to Uttar Pradesh Women Commission and Chief Minister Adityanath, according to The Indian Express. An inquiry was conducted in the matter based on the home ministry’s directions.
In a video statement released on March 18, Meena refuted the claims made by the woman. “An incident happened on June 13 last year when a revenue team went to a village to measure a road,” he had said. “Some locals tried to create a ruckus and Sub-Inspector Deepak Singh, who was posted as the local in-charge, responded. Government officials had been taken hostage by the villagers, and then senior officials had also gone to the spot.”
He alleged that the woman and her brother were involved in the incident along with others. “The brother also has two other cases against his name – filed by the family’s neighbours in 2020 over a land dispute,” Meena said. “The woman later alleged Sub Inspector Singh used to pressure her to talk over the phone.”
The suspended police officer said the inquiry conducted in the case was comprehensive and found the allegations to be false, according to NDTV. “The woman’s brother had spoken with the sub-inspector and the mobile number he used was shown by the woman later as hers,” Meena added. “The woman also gave us a printout of WhatsApp chats she said were from the sub-inspector, but our inquiry found the number used did not belong to the sub-inspector.”
Meena was removed as Basti police chief on Saturday night. After this, the woman said she was hopeful that she will get justice. “If I am guilty of filing a wrong complaint even by 1%, I should be publicly hanged,” she added. “But no cop should be able to conspire in such a manner. I want strict action against the sub-inspector so such a person does not rise through the ranks again. I do not want any other woman, or their family, to suffer.”