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Customs and Central Excise commissioner arrested for molesting 9-year-old girl

VADODARA: A senior official of the Customs and Central Excise, SS Sharma, was on Friday arrested by Vadodara crime branch police for allegedly molesting a nine-year-old girl, who is the daughter of the cook in his official residence.

Based on a complaint filed by the girl’s mother, a case under Section 354 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) was lodged against Sharma on July 7, and he was absconding ever since.

The case was handed over to the city crime branch. ACP (crime) MB Joshi said that Sharma, accompanied with his son and a lawyer, surrendered himself at the control room of the Police Bhavan on Friday morning and has been sent to judicial custody.

“He surrendered after eluding arrest for four days, and has been sent to judicial custody. He is booked for sexually harassing a 9-year-old girl,” Joshi said. As per the details of the case, Sharma, who is posted as the commissioner, Central Excise and Customs (National Academy of Custom Excise and Narcotics), entered the house of his cook who lives at the servants’ quarters situated near his residence at Race Course circle, and allegedly molested her daughter when she was alone. The girl, who is a class V student, escaped from his clutches and ran away to a neighbour’s house.

The girl’s parents complained about this incident, which happened on Friday last week, to the chief commissioner, and then lodged an FIR with the Gotri police station on July 7. “We have learnt that Sharma is mentally troubled as he is under psychiatric treatment. We are probing all angles even as he has denied any wrong-doing after surrendering himself,” Joshi said.