CSIO employee accuses her boss of sexual harassment

"I have forwarded the case to the committee as I could not gather enough evidence against Satish Kumar,” said the director.

Written by JAPJEET DUGGAL | Chandigarh | Published: July 16, 2014 3:36:17 am

An employee of the Central Scientific Instruments Organisation has lodged a complaint with the director, alleging sexual harassment by head of the Department of Computational Instrumentation Satish Kumar, who is her boss.

The director has forwarded the case to the CSIO’s sexual harassment committee. Talking to Newsline, Director Dr Amod Kumar said, “Head of the sexual harassment committee Dr Ranjana Mehrotra will be hearing the case on Wednesday. I have forwarded the case to the committee as I could not gather enough evidence against Satish Kumar.”

When contacted, Satish said that he did not know about the hearing. As for the allegations against him, he said, “I cannot comment on the matter as I am not authorised to give any direct comments to media.” The complainant, who is an unmarried woman, said she was being sexually harassed since the time she joined the organisation a few years ago. As a result, she suffered panic attacks and required hospitalisation.

She said Satish would touch her in an unwanted manner. When she resisted, he made her shift her working station close to his. “When I used to ask for leave, he would ask if I was going out with somebody. He used to deliberately play obscene videos on his computer when I was around. He told other seniors that I did not have a good character and that men often visited my house,” said the complainant.

In June, the complainant had panic attacks “due to the pressure’’. She said, “My work was getting affected, projects were taken away from me and I was being constantly harassed with vulgar taunts.” The complainant was admitted to the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32. “When the doctors there came to know the reason, they started counselling and treatment for panic and depression,” said the complainant.

Her mother, who had come to live with her, drafted a complaint and mailed it to the director. “My mother did not know the entire issue. So when I came out of the panic state after three weeks, I contacted the director and took forward the matter on June 27,” said the complainant. She said that she was pressured to withdraw the complaint.

As the news spread that she had lodged a complaint, another employee of CSIO contacted her and told her that Satish had harassed her in a similar manner in the past. However, that woman had only verbally complained and Satish was transferred from another department to his present department.

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