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NCSC Issues Third Notice To Punjab Govt Over ‘Sexual Misconduct’ Allegations Against Minister Kataruchak

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CHANDIGARH, June 6 (PTI): The National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) has issued a fresh notice to the Punjab government over “sexual misconduct” allegations against state minister Lal Chand Kataruchak after the AAP dispensation failed to submit an action taken report to it despite the two prior notices.

In the third notice, issued on the directions of NCSC Chairman Vijay Sampla, the commission asked the Punjab chief secretary, the director general of police and the deputy inspector general (border range) Amritsar to immediately record the victim’s statement through video conferencing or in-person in Delhi, provide him security, and also submit the action taken report by June 12.

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The NCSC issued its first notice on May 5 following a complaint of “sexual misconduct” by a Gurdaspur-based male victim against Kataruchak, while it sent the second notice on May 25.

“The commission has recommended to provide security to the petitioner… It has also recommended that the statement of the petitioner may be taken by video conference or in-person in Delhi. The action taken report is still awaited from the police/administration.

“It is therefore requested that the action taken report along with full facts of the case may be sent to the commission within seven days,” said the latest notice of the NCSC.

The Bhagwant Mann-led AAP government is facing flak over the issue with the opposition parties demanding action against Kataruchak.

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Punjab Governor Banwarilal Purohit had recently also asked Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann to take action against Kataruchak.

Alleging that the minister has committed a “heinous crime”, the governor had said Kataruchak does not have any right to stay in the Cabinet.

While quoting the victim’s complaint, the NCSC had earlier said the minister allegedly approached the victim “by sending him a friend request on Facebook in 2013-14 and when he accepted it, Kataruchak allegedly started making advances.”

“Since he was an influential person, he had promised me a government job due to which I remained mum. I was too young at that time to understand anything. But, his sexual excesses continued till 2021. However, he met me for the last time on Diwali in 2021 and he neither provided me with a job, nor met me after that,” the victim had claimed in his complaint.

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The Punjab Police had formed a three-member special investigation team after that to look into the “sexual misconduct” charge against the minister.

Congress MLA Sukhpal Singh Khaira had handed over a “highly objectionable video clips of gross misconduct” of an AAP minister to the governor for forensic examination. However, he had not named the minister.

Purohit had then forwarded the forensic report of Kataruchak’s “objectionable” video to chief minister Mann. According to a report, the video was not morphed.

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The Hills Times
The Hills Timeshttps://www.thehillstimes.in/
The Hills Times, a largely circulated English daily published from Diphu and printed in Guwahati, having vast readership in hills districts of Assam, and neighbouring Nagaland, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur.
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