Agri staffer decries delay in action in sexual harassment plaint

Crime

In another case of alleged sexual harassment of a working woman by a senior officer, a female agriculture sub-inspector posted at Mukerian today alleged inaction on the part of the senior officers of the agriculture department to bring the erring officer to book.

She alleged that she was molested by an agriculture development officer two months ago but no action had been taken on her complaint yet.

The victim alleged the senior officers were hand-in-glove with the accused and were dithering on action on her complaint which she had filed before the chief agriculture officer, Swantantra Kumar, who is currently posted in Hoshiarpur.

"Instead of looking into my complaint, the chief agriculture officer summoned me with regard to a complaint of absenteeism filed against me by the agriculture development officer Rakesh Kumar as I had protested against molestation," she alleged. Rakesh Kumar has denied the allegations saying that the agriculture sub-inspector was using it as a weapon against him.

Narrating an incident of March 17, the victim (the name withheld to protect the identity) alleged that the agriculture development officer — presently posted at Hajipur — had tried to take advantage of the situation and molested her when she was working alone at the first floor of her office at Mukerian.

However, Rakesh Kumar said, "She is using 'woman's weapon' to cover her faults and her misbehaviour on the day." "She reacted strongly to a complaint of absenteeism against her by the fellow employees and hurled abusive words at me and the whole staff was witness to it," he said, adding that her husband had also been a regular absentee from duty and was facing an enquiry in this regard.

Meanwhile, the sub-inspector admitted to abusing Rakesh Kumar but according to her it happened as a reaction to the incident of molestation. "I also had a scuffle with him when he clasped me from behind. I had to struggle to free myself. It shocked me to no end and it also infurated me so much that I started abusing him," she said, adding that she had been subjected to such incidents three times earlier by the same officer.

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