In a shocking incident of abuse of power, a 28-year-old female Range Forest Officer, Dipali Chavan was abused by her senior so much that she couldn’t see any other choice but to kill herself.
As per the statement shared by officials with the sources:
“A 28-year-old female Range Forest Officer posted in the Melghat Tiger Reserve (MRT) in Amravati, died by suicide after alleging sexual harassment and torture at the hands of an Indian Forest Service (IFS) officer, in a purported suicide note.”
RFO, Dipali Chavan-Mohite (28), shot herself at her official quarters in the Harisal village near the tiger reserve with her service revolver. She succumbed on the spot, late on Thursday.
A no-nonsense and tough officer, Dipali was famously known as ‘Lady Singham’.
Dipali’s blood-splattered body with the gun was recovered by relatives and colleagues.
It is heartbreaking how a brave officer, who fought against Forest Mafia, was broken by her own team. Dipali was alone when she took this extreme step. Her husband Rajesh Mohite is working as a Treasury Officer in Chikhaldhara, while her mother had gone to her native Satara.
On Friday, Dipali’s suicide sent shockwaves in the forestry circles across the state. Her family refused to take over her body for the last rites till the police nabbed the alleged accused – Deputy Conservator of Forests (DCF) Vinod Shivkumar – named in her suicide note.
Without wasting any time, the Amravati police went after the Deputy Conservator of Forests (DCF) Vinod Shivkumar. He was detained at the Nagpur railway station and was being brought to Amravati for further formalities.
Dipali’s 4-page suicide note mentioned the details about her ordeal that would break anyone’s heart.
Sharing the details of how Shivkumar abused his position, she mentioned how he harassed her sexually and inflicted mental trauma on her. Even though Dipali complained to seniors about the harassment, her pleas were ignored.
Highlighting Shivkumar’s alcoholism, she wrote how he used foul language at her in public and private, made advances, and dropped hints to get physical. However, as she repeatedly refused his advances, she was punished with difficult assignments and abuses.
But, what broke her spirit was when the pregnant Dipali underwent miscarriage because of her boss’s harassment. Even knowing about her pregnancy, Shivkumar forced her to accompany him on a grueling 3-day forest patrol. The patrol included walking or driving hundreds of kilometers and had a severe impact on Dipali’s maternal condition. A colleague close to her told IANS on condition of anonymity.
As she returned from the forest ordeal, she suffered a miscarriage. After losing her child, Dipali was in deep depression. It is heartbreaking what this brave courageous officer had to suffer.
In return for her hard work to put the forest mafia behind bars, she was abused, harassed, and left to struggle by the system.
At IFORHER, we are heartbroken by the harassment that this brave woman had to face. Her heart-wrenching story is just another reflection of how some people use their power to abuse and break high-performing women! We hope authorities would provide her family a speedy justice because no one deserves to live the ordeal that she lived!