Ranchi: IAS officer Syed Riyaz Ahmed, currently posted as a sub-divisional officer (SDO) in Jharkhand’s Khunti district, has been booked for alleged sexual harassment on a complaint filed by an IIT student.
According to information given to the press by Khunti Superintendent of Police (SP) Aman Kumar, Ahmed was taken into custody soon after the FIR was registered on 4 July. The student had filed her complaint at a women’s police station earlier that day, and the accused is being interrogated, Kumar said.
Ahmed has been booked under sections 354A (sexual harassment) (i) (physical contact and advances involving unwelcome and explicit sexual overtures) and (ii) (a demand or request for sexual favours), as well as 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) of the IPC, according to the FIR, which has been accessed by ThePrint.
According to Jharkhand High Court lawyer Shailesh Poddar, all these sections are bailable.
The victim’s statement has also been recorded before a magistrate under Section 164 of the CrPC.
In her complaint — also accessed by ThePrint — the victim has alleged that, on 7 April this year, she was part of a group of eight IIT students invited by the Khunti district administration for a summer internship. The team reached Khunti on 14 June.
The FIR, quoting the victim’s statement, read: “On 1 July, all the students were invited by SDO Riyaz Ahmed to his residence. He ordered some liquor and started forcing all of us to drink. He himself was continuously consuming alcohol. During all this time, he kept staring at me with wrong intentions.”
It further read: “After the party was over, the next morning i.e. on 2 July, he (Ahmed) took all the interns for a tour of his residence. During this, once he found me alone, he started kissing me while saying he has condoms. Due to all this, I became very nervous and somehow managed to run away.”
“Even after I managed to flee, he kept calling my friends and telling them to send me to him,” it added.
At the time of filing this report, the victim was undergoing medical tests. The statement of other interns is being recorded before a Khunti court, police said.
Ranchi Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) Anish Gupta told ThePrint: “The IAS officer was presented in court, which sent him to jail under judicial custody. We are investigating further.”
Nashik native, cracked civil services in 2018
The accused, Ahmed, is a 2019-batch IAS officer, whose wife is also a civil servant. In a video available on YouTube, he is seen speaking about his background while giving students tips about preparing for the civil services.
In the video, Ahmed says he hails from Nashik, Maharashtra. He also speaks about his family background, explaining that his father had only completed his schooling till Class 3 and his mother till Class 7.
In the video, Ahmed says he cracked the civil services exam in his fifth attempt in 2018, and secured a rank of 261.
(Edited by Gitanjali Das)
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