The wife of Rajasthan Chief Secretary Om Prakash Meena, Geeta Singhdeo, has accused him of molesting their daughter when she was 13 years old.
Singhdeo, who is a Rajasthan Administrative Services officer and posted as Additional Director, Public Services, and Meena have been living apart for the past two years, and she has filed cases of “violence and cruelty” against him. Their daughter has filed a separate case seeking maintenance from Meena.
Talking to mediapersons at her residence on Saturday, Singhdeo shared an email from their daughter, now 31 and living in Cardiff, United Kingdom. In the email, the daughter has said the mail be considered her “official statement” to the high court, in the ongoing case lodged by Singhdeo against Meena over “violence and cruelty”.
In the email, the daughter says, “My father has always treated me as a burden and for every single rupee he spent on me, he has abused me and mistreated me physically. My father molested me when I was 13 years old, in school, I am so ashamed to say that he used to come into my room and touch me at wrong places, he used to put his hands under my skirt and inside my shirt. My father used to kiss me on my lips and press my chest against his own many times. I had gone through this obscene treatment for almost two years not knowing what to do and who to tell; I used to cry all night.”
While the email is dated April, Singhdeo said she had been “forced to make it public now” as the probe against her husband was not progressing, and because things had become worse since Meena became Chief Secretary in July. Meena’s brother Harish Meena is a former DGP of the state.
Denying the charges, Meena said Singhdeo had been raising allegations against him for seven-eight years. “There were dowry allegations, there was a maintenance case, there was a violence case, and now this. You should ask them if this is their final allegation or if there are some more, since these come in bits and pieces,” he told The Sunday Express.
In 2014, the Rajasthan State Commission for Women had mediated in the dispute between the couple, asking Meena to behave “respectfully” towards his wife. It had also directed him to pay for their daughter’s living and education expenses, pointing out that these amounted to nearly UK pounds 700 a month.
Singhdeo says when Meena did not pay up, she and her daughter had approached court.
In the email, the daughter claimed to have also been a witness to Meena’s violence against Singhdeo. “(He) and his family have bashed and brutally beaten my mother… over 25 years. My father has hit my mother in the face, kicked her in the stomach and on her back, thrown her against the wall and bashed her head on to the wall, fractured her hand twice… I have witnessed my father’s inhuman, criminal offence, and shameful behaviour.”
She said Meena also continued the sexual assaults on her till she gathered the courage to speak up. “It was only when… my mother warned him to stop or she would report it to the police, that he discontinued molesting me.”
Justifying their long silence, Singhdeo said, “This is not Europe, this is India. We bear the atrocities. I didn’t want my home to break so I kept on bearing. But now this has reached an extreme. He is the Chief Secretary, all the departments answer to him.”
According to her, Meena and his family started harassing her from the time their daughter was born in 1984, as they wanted a boy.
Meena said his daughter had last spoken to him when he became Chief Secretary. “For the past couple of years she has been seeking maintenance since she is in England. She lost in the trial court, lost in the district court, and has now approached the high court. Nowhere did she level these allegations. I, on my part, have given her the best possible education.”
Seeking help, including from NGOs, Singhdeo said officials were too scared to take action against Meena. “I am alone in the state. Entire State and the machinery is with him.”
She said she had written letters to the Prime Minister and National Commission of Women, and wanted a CBI probe.