On Wednesday, the Assam Rifles (AR) released an official statement to reject allegations of molestation against one of its jawans levelled by an IPS officer and termed it as “baseless” and “fabricated”.
The statement comes two days after a woman IPS officer had lodged a police complaint accusing an Assam Rifles rifleman of molesting her, while she was on duty at Indo-Myanmar border town Moreh. A complaint was also registered with the Women’s Commission of Manipur.
— The Assam Rifles (@official_dgar) January 21, 2020
In the statement, Assam Rifles PRO has said that the woman officer Miss Anupam and her escort tried to bypass the designated scanning lane and jumped the vehicle queue at a checkpoint. It contended that the officer and her armed male escorts were all in civil dress and they started arguing in an “ignoble” and “indecorous” language on being enquired about their identity and reasons for jumping the queue.
Despite numerous requests from the troops, the officer refused to divulge her identity and rather “began questioning the troops who were performing their mandated duty”, added the statement.
“At this moment, the lady sitting in co-driver seat started clicking photographs of check post which was objected to by the rifleman. This was possibly with an aim to avoid checking of the unidentified and suspicious stores loaded in the vehicle,” alleged the statement.
The statement pointed out that the security grid along NH-102 has been strengthened due to Republic Day, with all checkpoints asked to be on high alert.
The statement also questioned why the woman officer, allegedly on official duty, “entered Myanmar illegally and bought suspicious goods from across the border”.
“Video footage of her entering Myanmar subsequently loading her so-called official vehicle with suspicious goods is available with Assam Rifle, which exposes her blatant lie in her complaint that she was on official duty,” it said. The statement says that the video will be released to the media at an appropriate time.
The Assam Rifles pointed out that the check-post where the incident took place is the designated frisking and checking point on the Moreh-Imphal route, and contraband worth Rs 500 crore has been seized here since January 2019 alone, underlining the importance of security checks.
Assam Rifles also said that the incident happened in broad daylight, at 2 PM, in front of multiple agencies, and it is unimaginable that a jawan will try to molest, assault or beat an IPS officer, while it was the other way around when the lady IPS officer was shouting on the jawan who was on bonafide duty and four escorts travelling with her had a commotion with the jawan on duty. It is a sheer misuse of official position, power and arrogance shown by the SDPO to blatantly flout the rules and possibly avoiding search of suspicious goods loaded in her vehicle, being a lady she is trying to play the sympathy card, the statement added.
Assam Rifles also said that as sentinels of the North East, they will investigate the matter and ensure that a free and fair trial is conducted on the matter raised by the IPS officer.
Reportedly, the Assam Rifles is also planning to file a case against the 2016-batch Manipur IPS officer.