Uttarakhand man felicitated for saving 90 lives, booked for sexual harassment
The accused was felicitated by the police for saving over 90 people from drowning in Sharda river.Updated: Oct 25, 2020, 19:33 IST
A 23-year-old swimmer and volunteer of Prantiya Rakshak Dal (PRD), who was felicitated by the police for saving over 90 people from drowning in Sharda river in Champawat district, has been arrested on charges of sexually harassing a woman, the police said.
“Accused Sooraj Sharma has been arrested for sexually harassing a woman in his neighbourhood. The woman had complained that he was sexually harassing her and based on her complaint we initiated an investigation and arrested him,” said Jasveer Singh Chauhan, in charge, police station, Tanakpur.
Volunteers of Prantiya Rakshak Dal work with the state government to strengthen the feeling of self-confidence, self-reliance, discipline and communal harmony and to help the police in maintaining peace and security.
Sooraj Sharma, resident of Sharda Ghat, was felicitated by the state police on the occasion of Independence Day in 2019. As per the police record, he had saved more than 90 people from drowning, mostly pilgrims, who came to Purnagiri shrine in Champawat, said police.
Thousands of pilgrims visit Sharda ghat to take a holy dip before or after the pilgrimage of Purnagiri shrine throughout the year. Several people, including women and children, get washed away owing to the rapid current of Sharda river while taking a dip, the police added.
Though Jal Police constables are deployed at the river bank to save people from drowning, Sooraj is a good swimmer and used to jump in and save lives before Jal Police would swing into action.
He was felicitated with a shawl and a commendation letter for his selfless service on the Independence Day by the then superintendent of police Dhirendra Gunjyal. Sharma was also inducted as a volunteer in the PRD on a recommendation so that he could finically support his family.
Chauhan said a woman had complained to police, alleging that Sooraj would often enter her house and molest her. She would resist the but Sooraj would continue to sexually harass her, the woman alleged in her complaint, said Chauhan.
Chauhan said the police have filed a case against the accused under sections 452 (house-trespass), 354 (assault on woman with the intention to outrage her modesty) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and arrested him.