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Indian Forest officer held in US for ‘sexual assault’

Surendra Mohapatra,a 1986-batch Orissa-cadre IFS officer,is in US for a 2-week training course.

Written by Debabrata Mohanty | Bhubaneswar | Published: July 27, 2012 1:37 am

A senior Orissa-cadre Indian Forest Service officer,Surendra Prasad Mohapatra,52,who is in the US for a two-week training course,has been arrested by the police in Pennsylvania following a complaint of “sexual assault” by a maid at the hotel where he was staying.

Mohapatra,a 1986-batch officer,is the regional chief conservator of forests,Sambalpur circle. Officials here said he was arrested on Wednesday night after the hotel maid pressed charges of indecent assault.

Confirming the incident,government sources in Delhi said Mohapatra has been given consular access.

Quoting Dhirendra Bhargava,the course coordinator,Orissa principal chief conservator of forests P N Padhi said Mohapatra had called up the hotel’s reception desk as he had a problem with the Internet connection in his room. “A woman came to his room but was unable to fix it,so she left. Two hours later,the police arrested him after the woman reportedly filed a complaint,” said Padhi.

Mohapatra’s wife Shrima rubbished the charges.

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