An air hostess of Air India has written to Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu about how she was sexually harassed and abused by a senior executive of the national carrier for the past six years, saying the accused was equal if not worse than disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.
In the letter, which was also marked to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the air hostess asked the government to appoint a “neutral” committee to investigate the incident as her repeated complaints to the airline management and Air India CMD fell on deaf ears and “none was forthcoming”.
Taking cognisance of the complaint, Prabhu on Tuesday directed the senior management to “immediately address” the issue. “Asked @airindiain CMD to immediately address this issue. If necessary, will appoint another committee,” Prabhu tweeted.
Asked @airindiain CMD to immediately address this issue. If necessary, will appoint another committee
— Suresh Prabhu (@sureshpprabhu) May 29, 2018
In the letter to Prabhu dated May 25, the air hostess described the senior executive as a “predator” and equal, if not worse, than Weinstein who has been charged with sexual misconduct by several actresses. “This senior executive is a predator and has sexually propositioned me, abused me, denied me positions and privileges after I rejected his advances and he had made my life a misery at work and continues to do so,” the air hostess mentioned in the letter.
The air hostess, however, said not only her but other colleagues were also victims of the executive’s alleged misconduct. “The executive used abusive languages at other women in my presence, spoken of sexual acts with me and other women and has tried to compel women in his office (including me) to come and drink with him at various bars and many of us have been forced to do so,” the letter further said.
Accusing the divestment-bound airline’s women’s cell of dragging its feet on the issue despite lodging a complaint as far back as September last year, the air hostess said she was never allowed to cross-examine the senior executive before the panel. “The complaints committee took over three months to summon the senior executive and never gave us a chance to cross-examine him. Even though we volunteered to cross-examine him, the committee felt no need to call us,” the air hostess alleged in the letter.