IAS officer’s wife held for slapping cop

Banglore, Janaury 31: Cubbon Park police on Monday night arrested Anuja Kumar Pandey and produced her before VIII ACMM judge Kiran Kini, who granted her interim bail. Anuja, wife of IAS officer and Hescom MD Pankaj Kumar Pandey, had on Sunday night assaulted a woman police officer on duty.

Earlier in the evening, a special police team traced Anuja to a relative’s house in Koramangala VII Block and arrested her. “She was preparing to get anticipatory bail. But she’s only been given interim bail,” a senior police officer said.

Anuja Kumar Pandey was in hiding in a relative’s house in Koramangala. She was tracked down by police , who launched a massive manhunt for her and arrested her on charges of assaulting a woman inspector on Sunday night.

Anuja, wife of senior IAS officer Pankaj Kumar Pandey, managing director of Hubli Electricity Supply Company (Hescom), had slapped and injured inspector Anjumala T Nayak, who had objected to her and her daughter entering Chinnaswamy Stadium with a single pass, to watch a CCL match.

Police also launched a hunt for a man in a red T-shirt , who had accompanied Anuja on Sunday, and was seen pushing police during the scuffle. “CCTV footage shows the man attacking police. He was accompanying Anuja. According to preliminary information, he’s fled to North India,” police sources said.

On Monday morning, police traced Anuja’s residence with details of the registration number of her car, in which she drove away from Gate-1 of the stadium. But when they reached 606, D Block, Prestige St John’s Woods, in Tavarekere at Madiwala, less than 1km from Forum Mall on Hosur Road, a maid answered the door and told them: “Memsaab ghar mein nahin hai (Madam is not at home)”. When they returned late afternoon, the door was locked.

“We were trying to reach her and question her on the allegations. The CCTV footage clearly shows a woman slapping Anjumala Nayak. The attacker was said to be Anuja Pandey, wife of Pankaj Kumar Pandey,” a senior police officer said.

He said they were making every effort to track Anuja and initiate legal action, if proved. “She is absconding and might be seeking anticipatory bail.”

There was confusion at the Pandey household on Monday morning, going by the accounts of the maid and cook. “Every day, we come around 9.30am and leave late afternoon. We were surprised to see memsaab leaving in a hurry when we entered this morning,” one maid said.

The maid was even more surprised to learn that the kids had skipped school. “A family member came at 11am and took them to an unknown place. We were shocked when police knocked on the door later and asked for memsaab,” they said.

By noon, the house was locked after the relative returned and asked the maid to leave. “I didn’t dare ask any questions, though I felt something amiss. The family came to this apartment around three months ago,” another maid said.

Cubbon Park police had late on Sunday night registered a case under IPC 353 (assault or criminal force to deter a public servant from discharging duty), accusing ‘some stranger’ of attacking a police officer on duty. “The name and other details of the accused will be included as the investigation proceeds,” police had said and admitted: “Yes, we are getting calls from Vidhana Soudha, saying we should not act stern.”

Police commissioner BG Jyothi Prakash Mirji had told TOI that police would have to identify the attacker and then take action.