government on Tuesday notified the Home Ministry to inquire into an allegation of molestation of an IPS officer’s wife against Deputy Inspector General PJ Rawal on board the Patna-bound 2394 Dn Sampoorna Kranti Express.
Vandana Preyashi, a Bihar cadre IAS officer, alleged in a first information report (FIR) against Rawal, that he had tried to molest her sister Sujata Preyashi, wife of IPS officer Gautam Chima, who was also travelling with her. Rawal was also travelling in the same AC coupe of the train.
According to the complaint (Case No. 175/07 under Section 354 of the Indian Penal Code) filed with the Patna GRP, Vandana Preyashi, said that on the night of July 8, Rawal, under the influence of alcohol, tried to “outrage the modesty” of Sujata who was sleeping in a lower berth. The incident occurred between the Kanpur and Mughalsarai stations.
Bihar Home Secretary Afzal Amanullah confirmed the receipt of a copy of the FIR. He said the complaint had been forwarded to the GRP, Patna, with a copy to the Railway Board and DG, Railway Protection Force. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had also taken a serious view of the matter, he added.
Meanwhile, the Railways ordered a departmental enquiry into accusations against Rawal.
“A two-member enquiry has been ordered by the ministry against DIG P.J. Rawal on the basis of an FIR lodged against him. The panel which would be led by Inspector General RPF Gopal Gupta, and will also have Jaya Chauhan, Security Commissioner (North-Eastern Railways) as its member,” Railway sources said.
Although no timeframe has been set, the team has been asked to submit its report at the earliest. Earlier, Railway Minister Lalu Prasad had, however, termed the allegation as ‘false’ following an inquiry. “RPF Director General M.K. Sinha has informed me that no such incident took place in the train. If the aggrieved person has registered a case, the law will take its own course.” Vandana had earlier entered her complaint in the register of the train as well, where she charged Rawal with the “crime”, Amanullah said.
“The complaint has been filed. But since the incident took place between Kanpur and Mughalsarai, it will be transferred to the concerned authorities for investigation,” he said.
Vandana and her sister had also slapped Rawal for his indecent behaviour, seizing his mobile phone and ID card, which they later returned. Neither Rawal nor the women were immediately available for comments.