A senior IAS officer, M H Sawant, 58, director general of the Maharashtra Council of Agricultural Education and Research (MCAER), was arrested by the Pune police on Thursday on charges of molestation and rape of four schoolgirls aged between eight to 10 years.
“Sawant has been arrested and booked under relevant sections of the IPC for rape and molestation. As of now, we know of only four victims. We are recording the statement of each girl. He has also been booked under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act,” confirmed DCP Sudhakar Pathare.
“As per primary information, the suspect has been sexually assaulting the girls for the past few days. He called them over to his building basement on the pretext of offering them food. The incident came to light after the girls told their school teacher, who informed the principal,” said a senior police officer.
“The school principal informed my wife and we immediately informed the police,” said PMC corporator from the area, Shrikant Jagtap.
Sawant, who was promoted to the IAS cadre in 1998, has been posted in various departments including sports, social welfare and agriculture.