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Basti: S-I held, 13 cops and officials booked on woman’s complaint

A police sub-inspector was arrested after a woman in Basti village accused him of filing false cases against her family members when she objected to his alleged advances. Ten other police personnel, including the SHO of Basti Kotwali, and two revenue officials were also booked for criminal intimidation and sexual assault. The administration has also suspended local Circle Officer Girish Singh, a deputy SP rank official, in connection with the case. Earlier, Basti Superintendent of Police Hemraj Meena was transferred.

The action was taken on the recommendation of a high-level inquiry committee that probed the allegations made by the woman.

“The main accused in the case, Sub-Inspector Deepak Singh has been arrested. In order to ensure unbiased investigation, we have transferred all the accused policemen to other districts. The accused revenue officials could be transferred also as we have made a request to the Divisional Commissioner in this regard. We have also transferred the investigation to Sant Kabir Nagar district to ensure complete transparency,” ADG (Gorakhpur Zone) Akhil Kumar, who is a part of the high-level inquiry team, told The Indian Express.

“I have asked IG (Basti Range) to make a list of all such cases which will be transferred. The investigation will be conducted by a Circle Officer-level official,” the ADG added.

District Magistrate Saumya Agarwal and Superintendent of Police Ashish Srivastava said that an inquiry will look into the properties acquired by suspended S-I Deepak Singh and local SHO Rampal Yadav, both currently suspended.

According to the woman’s complaint, during the lockdown in March last year, the accused sub-inspector had stopped her on road for not wearing a mask and allegedly took her phone number. He allegedly started sending her objectionable texts and messages and threatened to book the family members in false cases when she objected to his advances.

Three months later, the police allegedly filed several FIRs against her family members following an argument with the Lekhpal and others over a village land. “S-I Deepak took phones of all the women in our family to delete a video (made by her brother over the land dispute). Police rounded up my family members at Basti Kotwali police station and Woman police station where they were beaten up and tortured,” alleged the woman.

The woman also alleged that on August 30 last year, two constables broke into her house and clicked photos of her sister bathing, and used them to pressure them to withdraw their complaints against Deepak and others.

The woman later reportedly complained to the State Women Commissioner and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and an inquiry was conducted on the directions of the Home Department.

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On Saturday, the high-level probe committee, led by ADG Akhil Kumar, reached the woman’s village. Other members in the probe team included Basti Divisional Commissioner, IG Basti (Range) and Basti DM.

“On the recommendations of the high-level inquiry committee, an FIR has been registered against 13 accused. The FIR has been filed under IPC sections 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 324 (voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means), 211 (false charge of offence made with intent to injure), 342 (wrongful confinement), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace), 506 (criminal intimidation), 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) 452 (house-trespass after preparation for hurt, assault or wrongful restraint), 120 B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC and sections of the Information Technology Act,” read a statement issued by Basti police.

Those named in the FIR include S-I Deepak Singh, his brother Rajan Singh, S- Abhishek Singh, SHO (Mahila police station) Sheela Yadav, SHO (Kotwali) Rampal Yadav, constables Sanjay Kumar, Deeksha Yadav, Neelam Singh, Alok Kumar, Pawan Kumar Kushwaha, Awadhesh Verma, Lekhpal Shalini Singh, revenue clerk Satish and three unidentified police personnel.

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