NEW DELHI: Delhi court on Thursday sent Harish Chandra, the man accused of molesting and dragging the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) Chief Swati Maliwal, to 14-day judicial custody. 47-year-old Chandra was arrested by the Delhi Police on Thursday, and his car was also impounded. Earlier, the Delhi Police said that DCW chief Swati Maliwal claimed that she was “molested” and “dragged by a car” for several meters near AIIMS in the national capital during the wee hours on Thursday.
Speaking to ANI, DCP South Chandan Chowdhary stated that according to Maliwal, she was with her team outside the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) here at around 2.45 am when the arrested accused identified as Harish Chandra, a resident of Sangam Vihar area, appeared to be in an inebriated condition approached her.
The DCW chief in her complaint to police alleged that the man who was driving a white-coloured car stopped his car near where she was standing and “made indecent gestures” at her. He then beckoned her to sit inside his vehicle, claimed Maliwal. When she reprimanded him, the man allegedly went away but returned a short while and again repeated his actions, police said. She was standing with her team at Gate number 2 of the AIIMS which comes under the Kotla Police Station area.
कल देर रात मैं दिल्ली में महिला सुरक्षा के हालात Inspect कर रही थी। एक गाड़ी वाले ने नशे की हालत में मुझसे छेड़छाड़ की और जब मैंने उसे पकड़ा तो गाड़ी के शीशे में मेरा हाथ बंद कर मुझे घसीटा। भगवान ने जान बचाई। यदि दिल्ली में महिला आयोग की अध्यक्ष सुरक्षित नहीं, तो हाल सोच लीजिए।
— Swati Maliwal (@SwatiJaiHind) January 19, 2023
According to Maliwal’s complaint, when she was standing on the footpath, a white-coloured vehicle approached her whose driver offered her a lift and started insisting that she sit inside the car.
“When she refused again and went near the driver’s side window to reprimand him the man rolled up the car’s glass window and her hand got stuck and she got dragged for about 10-15 metres,” the DCP Chowdhary said. The police official said that a PCR call was received at around 3.12 am and a police team including ACP Hauz Khas reached the spot at around 3.20 am the accused was apprehended.
“The police took a written complaint from Maliwal and sent her and the accused for medical examination,” the DCP added.
A case was registered under the IPC in which Sections of molestation (354) were also included. Other sections include 323/341/509 IPC and the 185 Motor Vehicles Act. Further investigation into the matter is underway.
Meanwhile, National Commission for Women (NCW) took cognizance of the incident has written to the Commissioner of Police, Delhi to intervene in the matter personally and to ensure that strict action is taken against the accused person and also sought a detailed action taken report must be apprised to the Commission within 2 days.
“We have taken cognizance of the incident. This points a finger at the safety of women in Delhi. Though police have arrested the man behind this, why did such an incident happen in the first place?,” said Rekha Sharma, Chairperson, NCW. Maliwal’s claims come days after a 20-year-old woman identified as Anjali died after allegedly being dragged in the Kanjhawala area of Delhi for several kilometres.