IFS officer held in US for ‘sexually assaulting’ woman

A senior Indian Forest Service (IFS) officer Surendra Prasad Mohapatra, who is in the US on a training course, has been detained by police in Pennsylvania following a complaint of ‘sexual assault’ by a woman staff at a hotel where he was staying.

The incident is reported to have happened on Tuesday night following which the officer was put under detention by the local police, sources said. Mohapatra is the regional chief conservator of forests at Sambalpur in Odisha.

The Indian consulate in New York has rushed an official for legal assistance and look for bail for the Odisha-cadre officer.

According to Odisha government, Mohapatra was taken into police custody but said it was not exactly aware of the charges against him.

The state government said it was in touch with the Centre and the Indian embassy in the US but could not establish contact with Mohapatra.

Mohapatra, who is said to be a 1985-batch IFS officer, was part of a group of 30 Indian officers visiting the US for a mid-career training programme at the Syracuse University in New York.

Environment minister Jayanti Natrajan has sought a detailed report on the incident.
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