Three women contractual sanitation workers at the Army station headquarters, Tibri, in Gurdaspur district, who had accused their supervisor of passing vulgar and sexist remarks against them, have been dismissed from service.
An inquiry by the department concerned, which handles the sanitation work at the base, concluded that the women were allegedly making excuses to shirk work. The supervisor, Kuldeep, has also denied the allegations.
Senior Station Officer (SSO) B S Gill accused the women of indiscipline. “The women had come to me and lodged a complaint. A junior commissioned officer conducted the inquiry and found their allegations to be baseless. We investigated and found that they were not interested in working properly and had in fact, advised other workers against working for the required number of eight hours. We tried to make them understand that it was not in their interests and had told them to avoid taking unnecessary breaks. But they did not cooperate. We did our best to solve the matter,” Gill added.
The terminated workers continue to insist that the supervisor passed sexist remarks against them. “We had been working here since October 2014. Kuldeep was assigned the job to supervise our work but he repeatedly passed vulgar and sexist remarks against us. We first raised this matter with SSO B S Gill on July 29, 2015, and again on August 5, 2015. We had also brought this matter to the knowledge of the contractor who had hired us. Instead of taking action against the Kuldeep, we have been sacked from the job,” said Neetu, who along with Sonia and Dimple had lodged the complaint.
These women had been hired by the private firm Akal Detective & Security Limited, which has the contract for ‘conservancy’ at the Tibri headquarters. The contractor sided with the women.
“I had brought the matter to the knowledge of SOS B S Gill and higher authorities. I am not aware of any inquiry report. My observation is that these women were harassed. I expected higher authorities to take action,” said contractor Bhupinder Singh.