| Suspended inspector-general of police P.S. Natrajan (in kurta) being taken to the court of additional judicial commissioner Anil Kumar Choudhary after surrendering in Ranchi on Monday. Picture by Hardeep Singh
Ranchi, Nov. 6: Suspended inspector-general of police P.S. Natrajan, who remained a fugitive for more than a year on charges of alleged sexual exploitation, surrendered before a city court today.
The court of additional judicial commissioner Anil Kumar Choudhary sent the officer to a day’s judicial custody. Natrajan, who has been lodged at Birsa Munda Central Jail, will be produced tomorrow before the court where charges will be framed. The court will also decide the fate of his bail application filed today.
The 1970-batch IPS officer went underground following a TV sting operation in which he was shown in a compromising position with a tribal woman on July 31 last year. The woman, Sushma Baraik, accused the officer, in his mid-fifties, of sexual exploitation when she had gone to seek help from him.
Baraik lodged an FIR naming Natrajan and two others, her husband Rajesh Kujur and a schoolteacher, Madhupriya Ganguly.
Natrajan was declared a fugitive as he failed to turn up before the court in spite of his bail petitions being rejected.
As soon as Natrajan entered the court in a blue Maruti, the magistrate told the suspended officer to explain why he could not appear in spite of the summons. Natrajan’s advocate, Anil Kumar Kanth, pleaded that his client was unwell (“cardiac disorder”) and hence could not appear.
Clad in a white kurta, pyjama and a fur cap, Natrajan was kept in separate room of the hazat on the civil court premises for over two hours before being forwarded to jail at 2.45 pm.
A large crowd had gathered on the court campus to catch a glimpse of the high-profile officer, who was Ranchi’s zonal IG when the scandal broke out, being taken to court like an ordinary prisoner.
Government pleader Durlabh Mahto said Natrajan’s surrender would help ensure early disposal of the “case”. “After the officer was declared a fugitive, the court had split the case. While the court had started a trial against Kujur and Ganguly for abetting the crime, the trial against Natrajan was kept suspended. Now it has become possible to conduct a simultaneous trial against all three,” he said.
Baraik welcomed the surrender. “I have full faith in the judiciary. I expect I will get justice after the surrender of the officer who exploited me when I went to take his help.”