Bhopal: Two Congress MLAs from Madhya Pradesh were booked for allegedly harassing a woman while they were travelling on an overnight train.
The alleged incident was reported on the intervening night of Thursday-Friday when they were travelling in a AC coach of Rewanchal Express (Rewa to Bhopal).
The legislators, accused of harassing the woman co-passanger, were identified as Sidharth Kushwaha and Sunil Saraf. Kushwaha is MLA from Satna city while Saraf represents Kotma assembly seat in the same district.
37-year-old Kushwaha is also president of OBC wing of the Madhya Pradesh Congress. He was also one of the mayoral candidates from Satna, but he lost the elections against the ruling BJP.
The woman alleged that the MLAs were drunk, used abusive language and harassed her during the journey.
Railway police swung into action after woman’s husband in a series of tweets, alerted railway police that his wife was travelling on a train from Rewa to Bhopal and two heavily drunk persons in the same compartment are misbehaving with his wife.
By the time train reached Sagar station, railway police reached that particular compartment for checking. Later, the woman left her seat and shifted to another compartment, according to the police.
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. But as she refused, one of the MLAs held her hand and continued insistence on having food.
The complainant deboarded the train at Habibganj and filed a complaint at Habibganj police station. The FIR has been registered in Sagar government railway police station under section 354 of IPC, said a senior police official in Bhopal.
Additional Superintendent of Police Pratima Patel told press that the complainant was travelling with her infant in the AC compartment of Rewanchal Express.
Talking to IANS, MLA Siddarth Kushwaha said, “I along with Sunil Saraf was coming to Bhopal. I boarded the train from Satna and after few minutes the same woman requested me to exchange her seat as she was carrying her little baby, so I did the same. We had our dinner and asked her as courtesy for dinner. I fail to understand why the woman has levelled such serious allegations against me and my colleague MLA.”
Kushwaha further said that he didn’t even switch on the light in the compartment so that no one get disturb. “There was no further conversation with the woman took place 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 she made against us,” Kushwaha added.
“How is it possible for anyone to indulge in such a criminal act when there are co-travellers, ticket-checking staff, coach attendants, government railway police personnel, etc,” the MLA asserted.
Madhya Pradesh BJP president V.D. Sharma said that “the act of two Congress MLAs has exposed their real face”.
“Their leader Priyanka Gandhi says Ladki Hun Lad Sakti Hun, now I want to ask Priyanka Gandhi as to what action she would take against her party’s MLAs. I condemn this act and believe that the Congress leadership would take action against the two MLAs,” Sharma said.