City police on Saturday arrested Dakshina Kannada district leprosy officer Rathnakar on charges of sexually harassing women contract workers in his office.
Women’s Police on Friday registered an activist’s complaint against Dr Rathnakar under section 354 of the IPC and questioned him.
Police Commissioner N. Shashi Kumar said on Saturday that the Women’s Police took statements from three employees who worked in his office. They told police that the official took the victims to places namely Kundapur, Murudeshwar, Madikeri and Periyapatna and sexually harassed them. In addition to the three victims, police also took a statement on Saturday from one of the members of the Internal Complaints Commission (ICC) of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Dakshina Kannada, who had investigated allegations against Dr. Rathnakar. .
Dr Rathnakar was brought before the jurisdictional court, which allowed police to keep him in detention until Monday, Kumar said.
Following an order from the National Commission for Women a few days ago, Deputy (Central) Police Commissioner PA Hegde investigated an anonymous letter containing allegations against Dr Rathnakar. Mr Kumar said the victims then refused to make statements against the official fearing that they would lose their jobs. In the report to the Commission, Mr. Hegde referred to the need to transfer the official out of the district so that the victims could make their statements freely.
After receiving information from Deputy Commissioner KV Rajendra, the ICC inquired and submitted its report on August 25. Community Health Center Officer, Gurmitkal of Yadgir District.
Dr Rathnakar questioned the investigation report before the Karnataka HC Single Judge Chamber, which issued an order on November 18 to suspend the report for 8 weeks. He then asked the Karnataka State Administrative Court to suspend the suspension on November 24 until a new hearing on December 2.