New Delhi: The Assam Rifles is planning to file a case against a 2016-batch Manipur IPS officer who had lodged an FIR against one of its jawans after accusing him of molesting her at a checkpoint near Moreh, a town on the India-Myanmar border.
The incident occurred Sunday. An FIR was lodged against Rifleman P.K. Pandey following a formal complaint by the woman officer who is posted as the sub-divisional police officer in a district in Manipur. She had also lodged a separate complaint with the Manipur State Commission for Women against the rifleman and his commanding officer, who allegedly intimidated her.
Army sources, however, told ThePrint that there is footage that shows that not all is black and white and that the woman officer was at fault.
Sources said that at around 2 pm Sunday, a white TATA Sumo returning from Moreh bypassed the designated scanning lane and also jumped the vehicle queue at the permanent checkpoint in Khudengthabi, resulting in a commotion and causing inconvenience to other travellers.
They added that the vehicle was stopped by Assam Rifles personnel who asked the passengers for their identification.
“On being enquired about the identity of the passengers and reasons for bypassing the scanning and jumping the queue, the woman along with the armed male escorts all in civil dress began arguing,” an Assam Rifles source said.
The source added that despite numerous requests from the troops of Assam Rifles, the woman officer refused to divulge her identity and instead began questioning the troops by asking: “Don’t you know me?”.
“At this moment, the woman officer sitting in the passenger seat began clicking photographs of the post, which rifleman P.K. Pandey objected to,” a second Assam Rifles source said. “She persisted and continued clicking photographs that is against the norms.”
ThePrint contacted the woman officer but she refused to comment, saying the case was sub-judice.
Against norms, says AR
Army sources said that all vehicles and passengers are permitted to cross the checkpost only after thorough checking, in accordance with the directions of the Ministry of Home Affairs. They added that state-of-the-art equipment has been placed at the post.
“Do note that the woman police officer and her escort were moving in civil clothes with their personal weapon and without any escort vehicle outside her area of jurisdiction,” the first source cited above said.
“The incident happened in broad daylight in front of multiple agencies. It is unimaginable that a jawan tried to molest, physically assault or beat an IPS officer,” the source added. “In fact, it was the other way round wherein she was shouting at the jawan who was on bonafide duty and her four escorts trying to force their way through by avoiding scanning of the vehicle.”
The checkpoint at Khudengthabi is the designated frisking and checking point just outside Free Movement Regime (FMR) on Moreh-Imphal axis.