Mukesh Agrawal, who is accused of sexually harassing a woman police officer in 2012.
A woman police officer from Assam has accused a senior of sexually harassing her, turning the spotlight on what could be the first #MeToo case against a top police officer in the country.
In a recent Facebook that has gone viral, Majuli Additional Superintendent of Police (ASP) Leena Doley accused Additional Director General of Police (Law & Order) Mukesh Agrawal of sexually harassing her in 2012. The woman claimed that that she is yet to receive justice in the case, and even insinuated that it was why her husband committed suicide a few months later.
Ms Doley said that while she was a Deputy Superintendent of Police at the time, Mr Agrawal — an Indian Police Service officer — was posted as the Inspector General of Police (Logistics). The latter is now a decorated police officer with several key postings to his credit.
Identifying herself as a survivor of sexual harassment, the woman police officer related how Mr Agrawal offered to take her on a holiday as a "reward" for her efficient work. "But I had no intention of taking a holiday with my boss, and I said so to my organisation boss – the Director General of Police (DGP), Assam, Anyway, a lot transpired after that… To cut a long story short, my husband committed suicide around six months after I submitted my complaint against Mukesh Agrawal," she said.
Leena Doley says she is yet to receive justice in the case.
Sources in the police confirmed that Ms Doley had submitted a written complaint against Mr Agrawal to then Assam DGP JN Choudhury, after which an inquiry committee led by former Assam Additional Chief Secretary Emili Choudhury was formed. However, the investigation did not take the intended direction.
"The inquiry officer, Emily Choudhury, IAS, came to my house on the very first day, the soonest possible, to assure me that my husband had not killed himself over the complaint. I didn't react. I was beyond any reaction. But the inquiry procedure had not started till then. My case was dismissed as one of misunderstanding, although the perpetrator himself admitted to asking me to accompany him to a holiday destination without telling my husband," the post added.
Mr Agrawal's wife filed a defamation case against the woman police officer soon after the controversy broke out. Ms Doley responded with a revision plea in the Gauhati High Court, and won. "Despite being beyond redemption, I find some comfort in the high court judgment that complainants cannot be persecuted for calling out sexual predators," she said in the post.
None of the parties concerned — Ms Doley, Mr Agrawal and the Assam police — were willing to comment on the matter.
The MeToo movement — which began in the United States with the Harvey Weinstein scandal over a year ago — gained traction across India in September after actor Tanushree Dutta accused her co-star Nana Patekar of sexual harassment. Since then, several men in the fields of media, entertainment, political and art have been accused of offences ranging from sexual harassment to rape.