PUNE: A senior IAS officer who was arrested Thursday evening by Pune Police on charges of molestation and rape of four minors was sent to police custody today for 11 days by a Sessions Court. He was also suspended from the Service.
The 58-year-old officer, MH Sawant, Director General of the Maharashtra Council of Agricultural Education and Research (MCAER), has been charged under sections 376 (rape) and 354 (molestation) of the Indian Penal Code, sections 6, 8 and 10 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and section 67(a), (b) of the Information Technology Act.At the Shivajinagar court premises today, a Maharashtra Navnirman Sena Corporator put a garland made of slippers on the accused.
The police said a First Information Report was registered after the Corporator of ward no 53 came to them with a complaint against the officer. Police said the children, who are from poor families, used to play in the parking lot at the officer’s apartment complex. The officer would call the children to his house and allegedly indulge in sexual misconduct with them. The officer allegedly also showed them sexually explicit videos on his computer.
The children attend a municipal school that has counselling sessions for its students. They told the school counsellor about what Sawant was doing, and the counsellor then spoke to other children who narrated similar experiences. The counsellor reported this to the school principal who in turn told the Corporator.