Former Samajwadi Party (SP) MP Chandra Nath Singh, 62, was detained by Government Railway Police (GRP) at Shahjahanpur railway station on charges of molesting a woman co-passenger on board a train on Sunday night. The charges against the senior politician from Pratapgarh were however not registered, after the girl, as claimed by GRP, backtracked on earlier accusations in a faxed message sent on Monday afternoon.
“The chapter is closed now. The woman who first charged the former MP with molestation has backtracked. She sent a faxed message from Delhi on Monday afternoon,” Gurdarshan Singh, additional director general, GRP confirmed. The SP leader was thereafter freed.
As per reports, Chandra Nath Singh, who is also party’s candidate for 2014 Lok Sabha polls from Pratapgarh was held by police late on Sunday night after a woman accused him of misbehaving with her while travelling in Second AC coach of Padmawat Express on way to Delhi. The police said that the girl complained when SP Yadav, station officer, GRP was conducting routine checks in the train at Shahjahanpur railway station. The girl also alleged that SP leader was drunk when he harassed her, the police said.
“She first filed a complaint with the SO in train near Shahjahanpur at the railway station. "Acting on the complaint we detained the SP leader,” Singh added.
In the complaint the girl also said that the former MP and his bodyguard also threatened her from reporting the alleged misbehaviour to the police.
The former MP could not get the berth in VIP quota, so he was given a seat till Lucknow on a waitlisted ticket and was told that he would be shifted to another berth for the journey after crossing Lucknow. When he was not given the berth, he tried to adjust himself at the berths already occupied by the girl and two of her relatives resulting in a verbal duel.
“He was not arrested at all. We could not file a case as the girl finally said that it was just an argument over a berth,” the ADG said. During the medical examination on the former MP, who complained of unease and breathlessness and was admitted to the Shahjahanpur district hospital, GRP said he was not drunk as claimed by the girl in the earlier complaint.
The SO said that the case was not registered and after reaching Delhi the girl faxed a letter to the district magistrate Sahjehanpur withdrawing her complaint.
However the issue immediately snowballed into a political controversy with the Opposition demanding action against the SP leader. While the chief minister Akhilesh Yadav told newsmen after a law and order meeting that the police had recieved the complaint and action would be taken only after investigation, the leader of Opposition in Vidhan Parishad, Nasimuddin Siddique, raising the issue in the House assailed the government of the fast deteriorating law and order situation.
Later he told journalists that the involvement of a senior SP leader in molestation case was serious matter and strict action should be taken. The SP spokesman and jail minister Rajendra Chaudhury also said that the government was committed to the rule of law, and action would be taken against him if found guilty.