Bhopal: A sexual harassment case was filed against two Congress legislators travelling on an overnight train in Madhya Pradesh after a woman alleged they were drunk, used abusive language and harassed her, said the officials on Friday.
Additional superintendent of police Pratima Patel told Free Press that the complainant was traveling with her infant in the AC compartment of Rewanchal Express.
However, the MLAs Siddharth Kushwaha (37) and Sunil Saraf (48), both Congress MLAs representing Satna and Kotma assembly constituencies respectively for the first time in the state assembly, claim that the allegation leveled against them is baseless and called it to be a conspiracy against them.
In her complaint, the victim stated that MLAs Siddhart Kushwaha and Sunil Sharaf boarded the train at Katni railway station. They were having their meal when she was sleeping on her berth in the same compartment. In between Ghatera and Sagar railway stations, the duo allegedly woke her up and forced her to have a meal with them. On refusing, one of the MLAs held her hand and continued insistence on having food.
The complainant deboarded the train at Habibganj and filed the complaint to Habibganj police station and the FIR has been registered in Sagar government railway police station under section 354 of IPC, the ASP added.
Talking to Free Press, MLA Siddarth Kushwaha said, “I fail to understand why the woman has leveled such serious allegations against me and my colleague MLA.
"The fact is I exchanged my berth with the woman on her request as she was carrying her baby and wanted the lower berth. I didn’t even switch on the light in the compartment as the woman didn’t want the light to be switched on. There was no further conversation with the woman after the exchange of berths. It was in Sagar when a police team arrived in our compartment, and we came to know about the complaint against us.”
Adding to his statement, Kushwaha said, “How is it possible for anyone to indulge in such a criminal act when there are co-travelers, ticket-checking staff, coach attendants, government railway police personnel, etc.”
Even otherwise, he said, “We are public representatives. We can’t think of even indulging in such an act.”
When contacted, the other MLA Sunil Saraf spoke in a similar vein. "It appeared to be a conspiracy against us. How is it possible that the complainant knew their names and age when this is all a matter of police investigation? It was mentioned in the complaint to the police before. We did not introduce ourselves to the lady. Ultimately, the truth will prevail”.