Delhi airport customs officers summoned for sexual assault case
New Delhi: An Internal Complaints Committee probing alleged sexual assault on a woman from Uzbekistan has summoned two accused customs officers before it, officials said Sunday.
The panel has issued summons to the two superintendents of customs, who were suspended after the incident at Delhi airport came to light, to appear before it and give their statements, they said. The ICC, constituted under the provisions of The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013, has been vested with the power of a civil court under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, and can summon officials and any documents pertaining to the case, they said.
The alleged sexual assault on the Uzbek woman took place in May at a room without CCTV camera in the highly secured area under the customs department at the airport, they said. Senior customs officials looking after the work at airport are tight lipped over the alleged incident. It was brought to the notice of the customs authorities by a ‘whistleblower’.
Giving details of the case, the officials said that one of the accused stopped the Uzbek woman upon her arrival from Tashkent on May 3 for checking of her baggage for any suspected smuggled goods. He then took her to a room that has no CCTV camera and spent about half an hour there without being accompanied by any women customs officer, they said. It is alleged that the superintendent, who is in his early 50s, sexually assaulted the woman, who had come here for treatment of her sister’s child admitted at a private hospital, the officials said.
The woman had lodged a complaint with the customs authorities but retracted later after she is alleged to have been threatened of being fabricated in a false case of smuggling, besides threat to her life by the accused officer, they said.