A SENIOR Air India staff member on Tuesday accused a senior airline official of “sexually harassing, torturing and discriminating” against her for the past six years. The air hostess has alleged that despite being informed, the airline management failed to act.
In a letter to Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu, she has cited instances where the executive allegedly abused her. “…this senior executive (whose name will be revealed when I meet you)… has sexually propositioned me, abused me, used abusive language on other women in my presence,” she alleged. According to sources, the 54-year old Assistant General Manager, who holds a position in management committee of the airline, has flown for more than 33 years and is based out of Mumbai.
The woman also gave an account of how she had been “insulted and denied positions and privileges after she rejected his advances”. She stated in her letter that she took her grievance to the airline management last September but no action was taken.
“I used the internal processes because I did not want to attract publicity or attention, but six years of torture and nine months of tortuous delay and cover-ups have left me frustrated. When no action was forthcoming, rather than filing an FIR, I appealed to the ministry who ensured that AI women’s sexual harassment committee heard the case,” the letter read. “During the mockery of inquiry, the lady chairperson of the committee had the temerity to respond ‘you know how he talks. He has even flirted with me like this so many times’. Such is the level of seriousness that Air India officers give to the sexual harassment issue in the national carrier.”
She requested the minister to appoint a neutral probe panel and ensure that the executive does not come in contact with any of the 2,000 women staff reporting to him till the inquiry is completed.
Responding, Prabhu tweeted, “Asked Air India CMD to immediately address the issue. If necessary, will appoint another committee”. The airline refused to comment on the issue.