Given the high-profile status of the accused, the government railway police (GRP) officials at Charbagh reportedly tried to get the two parties to reach a compromise. Even after inspector general (Railways) Ashutosh Pandey instructed the GRP officials to lodge a case, they didn’t do so for about four hours. But, after the victim and her family refused to withdraw their complaint, they finally registered a case against Susheel for bailable offences under Sections 294 (eve teasing) and 354 (molestation).
However, sources say that when chief minister Akhilesh Yadav came to know about incident while he was addressing a rally in Hardoi, he intervened in the matter himself ordering Susheel’s immediate suspension. To send out a strong message that the government would not, under any circumstance, allow such acts to prevail, the chief minister is also known to have instructed senior officials to take “all necessary punitive action” against the officer, including sending him to jail for his offence.
It was then that additional director general (railways), Gurdarshan Singh, instructed the GRP men to include sections 376 read with 511 (rape and attempt to commit offences punishable with imprisonment for life) of the IPC against the accused. Taking a serious note of the police’s attempts to water down the intensity of crime, the ADG also transferred the inspector in-charge of GRP Charbagh, Anil Rai, to Gorakhpur with immediate effect. Inspector Girija Shanker Tripathi was posted in his place.
According to reports, the girl and her mother boarded the train at New Delhi and were occupying berth numbers 13 and 14 in AC II coach. Shashi Bhushan entered the coach at Ghaziabad and was on the lower berth (number 15) right opposite them. In her FIR, the girl alleged that after the train left Ghaziabad, the officer tried to start a conversation with her mother. “He kept on looking at me and that left me extremely uncomfortable,” the victim said. It was around day break, when the girl was asleep and her mother had gone to toilet, she suddenly woke up to find the IAS officer allegedly trying to outrage her modesty.
She raised an alarm and after her mother returned, they informed the guard on duty. Soon, other passengers of the coach also gathered there. When the victim’s mother confronted him, the officer allegedly tried to throw his weight around claiming he was an IAS officer. After a heated exchange, when the victim’s mother threatened to call the police the officer begged for forgiveness. However, when the guard arrived on the scene, the officer denied having committed anything wrong and dismissed the allegations as baseless. The guard then left the scene to seek help of the Railway Protection Force jawans to ensure that he did not escape. By the time the guard could return with the RPF jawans, the officer disappeared. On the basis of the description provided by the victim and her mother the guard and the RPF jawans launched a manhunt and traced him sitting in the AC I coach. He was handed over to the GRP Charbagh once the train arrived at Lucknow at around 7am.
Despite the victim adamant on initiating police action against the accused, the GRP personnel tried to hush up the case. They allegedly didn’t listen to even their IG initially. It was only when the chief minister intervened that the case of attempt to rape was filed. Thereafter, the officer was produced before the railway magistrate, who sent him to jail under judicial remand for 14 days.