Congress IT cell member arrested


New Delhi

Delhi Police has arrested a 39-year-old social media team member of the Congress party’s IT cell after a former colleague accused him of molestation. An FIR was registered against him at North Avenue police station on July 3.

A senior police officer of New Delhi district police said the accused, Chirag Patnaik, was arrested on Monday night from North Avenue area and was released on bail from police station within an hour. “The arrest was made after the victim has recorded her statement under Section 164 of CrPC before a magistrate where she has substantiated her all allegations,” the official added.

Police said the woman had written an e-mail to Delhi Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik and other senior officials. “She has alleged in her complaint that the accused had made her feel uncomfortable on several occasions and mentioned terms like violation of her personal space and immoral behaviour in her complaint,” an official said.

The complainant was a member of the Congress social media team when the incident took place where Patnaik is a social media manager, police said.

Divya Spandana, the head of Congress’ digital media team, had earlier told the reporters that it was the first time she had heard of the sexual harassment allegations against Patnaik. She later put up a statement on Twitter signed by 39 Congress workers defending Patnaik. “The party had reached out to the complainant, but it had no reason to believe that Patnaik was guilty. The complainant had cited “personal reasons and health matters” for resigning from the team,” it states.

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