The day after the police lodged an FIR of sexual harassment against Manish Kumar, supervisor of Bal Niketan, two office-bearers of the society which manages the home for poor, orphan and destitute minor girls said on Tuesday that they do not believe the inquiry report indicting him.
The society’s honorary secretary Amar Kulwant Singh and treasurer A K Ummat said that Kumar could not have harassed the girls.
Amar Kulwant Singh, a former nominated councillor who was also member of the municipal corporation’s sexual harassment committee, said, “Manish has been living here for the last many years with his wife Nisha and two young daughters.’’
“We never received any such complaint. None of the residents ever approached me to report any such incident. None of the parents have made any complaint either,” she said.
The FIR was lodged on the complaint of Deputy Commissioner Mohammad Shayin, who is president of the society, after an inquiry upheld the complaint against Manish Kumar, made by seven girls.
Singh said she did not know who out of the 40 girls had complained to Childline. “I was not kept in the loop by the inquiry panel. I came to know about the case against Manish when the police came,” she added.
Society treasurer A K Ummat, a retired chief engineer from the Punjab Irrigation Department, said Manish had been complaining that it had become difficult to manage the girls. “He was strict with the girls,” Ummat added.
Dr Deepti, a member of UT Administration’s sexual harassment committee, who is also the general secretary of an NGO run by Ummat, said, “Manish had been very strict with the girls. It is possible that the complaint was in retaliation to his strict behaviour.”
Singh said that after Childline received a complaint, their officials came to inquire the matter. “They asked me not to intervene. When they left, I asked them for a formal word and they said that they would send me a written report. When I did not receive a report, I called to ask them, and they said that the Social Welfare Department would respond. The next thing I knew a committee was formed to inquire the matter,” Singh told the Newsline.
Senior Superintendent of Police Sukhchain Singh Gill said, “Two complaints were received at the public window on Monday, one by the Deputy Commissioner and another by Rajesh Jogpal, Director of Social Welfare. After I discussed the matter with DC, a case was registered.’’
Asked about home employees Manjeet Kaur and Meena, against whom adverse comments have been made in the report, the SSP said, “No case has been made out against them yet.’’
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